By Petar Todorovski
Roma will travel to Verona to face Chievo in the 15th round of Calcio, trying to score the first victory away from Stadio Olimpico in seventh game. Also, it will be interesting to see how they’ll pick up from last weekend destroying in Sicily against Palermo.
Everybody in Roma was hugely disappointed after that game, which ended their unbeaten run of eight games in all competitions. They were totally outplayed. Defender Philippe Mexes criticized the lack of playing as a team. That’s why Coach Claudio Ranieri decided to take drastic steps and called a team meeting on Wednesday at Trigoria. He showed them a video with the moments when they were going wrong and expressed his anger of their individual play and the mistakes that everyone made. “We were not a team, and everyone played for themselves,” roared Ranieri, “We just did not play as a team, everyone made mistakes.”
Leaders AC Milan extended the lead only by one point ahead of them due to their draw against Sampdoria. Now Giallorossi are eight points behind them, sitting the sevebth place.
Their rivals this weekend, Chievo, are an average team. They’re tenth placed, with five victories, four draws and four defeats in 13 games. Their matches are not so attractive to neutral fans due to very low rate of goals. Unlike most of Serie A teams, they don’t collect almost all points at home, what means that home field doesn’t make too much difference for them. What is most important to mention, they have lost only one of last eight games in all competitions, beating Inter in the process.
Chievo will have to cope with Lupi without injured Luciano and Thereau, while Roma will miss Simone Perrotta and full back John Arne Riise.
The Tinkerman, Roma coach Claudio Ranieri, is very optimistic in his statements before the match. He expects the team to show all the power this weekend. “This team has fallen many times, but we always get back up,” he said. “Now we play against Chievo, and we have to show that we have understood the lesson from Palermo. I expect a great game from the team tomorrow. The players are all ok, no one has been squeezed.”
The coach of the Flying Donkeys, Stefano Pioli, seemed to agree with him. He wasn’t happy because they face a team that has something to prove. “Roma are definitely a team we will be facing at the wrong time,” he stated. “They already lost to Palermo and will want to redeem themselves. It will take a great Chievo to defeat them.”
Should it take a great Chievo to beat them, depends mostly on Roma. If they manage to handle the psychological pressure of away games challenge, their undoubted superiority in quality compared to Flying Donkeys should come on top. Only they know what exactly happened on the team meeting on Wednesday. So, why shouldn’t we trust Claudio Ranieri’s optimism?