AS Roma Battling For A Top Four Finish As Serie A Season Concludes

The Italian Serie A soccer league is down to the final fixture of the season and although the top two spots haven’t been in doubt for weeks now there’s still plenty left for the second tier teams to play for. It was obvious very quickly that Juventus were the class of the league with Napoli assuming the status of ‘second best’. After that, it was everybody else. Juventus stands 11 points ahead of Napoli with Napoli 13 points up on Atalanta and Inter Milan who are tied for third. That leaves AS Roma desperately hoping for a miracle to get them into the top four and a spot in the Champions League.

It’s unlikely to happen. Roma trails the two aforementioned sides tied for third by 3 points and fifth place AC Milan by 2 points. They also trail all three teams on goal differential. The more realistic ‘best case scenario’ is a spot in Europa League with a fifth or sixth place finish. It will also be the last game for interim manager Claudio Ranieri who has been at the helm for three months. Roma was a mess before he arrived and although he did a nice job turning their fortunes around it appears that they will fall short of the goal of a Champions League berth. Ranieri will not stay on past this game though he’s been linked with the manager’s job at Scottish Premier League entrant Celtic.

Another departure is imminent for Roma–midfielder Daniele De Rossi will play his final game at the Stadio Olimpico after 18 years at the club. He has 339 appearances for AC Roma across all competitions but was not offered a contract for next season. The 35 year old De Rossi must now decide whether to continue his playing career in another league or move into coaching. He’s got interest as a player from several clubs including a more hypothetical than anything move to the MLS but what has to be an extremely intriguing opportunity has been put on his table from Manchester City’s manager Pep Guardiola. The word is that Guardiola will offer De Rossi a position on his coaching staff if he decides to retire–a spot on the back to back Premiership Champions isn’t a bad way to transition into a new phase of professional life.

The result of all of this is that it could be an emotional roller coaster of a day for the home side when there’s still a match to be contested. Parma doesn’t have much to play for except professional pride–they’re safely out of relegation danger and while they could improve upon their current spot in 14th place they’re one of 7 teams at the bottom level of Serie A separated by a total of 3 points. Parma isn’t in especially good form at the moment having gone winless in 9 of their previous 10 matches. Their struggles go back even further than that with only 2 wins in their last 17 contests. They’ve got a record of 5 wins, 4 draws and 9 losses away from home scoring 22 and allowing 34.

Roma enters this contest unbeaten in their past eight and with a very strong home record. They’ve got 11 wins 5 draws and 2 losses at the Stadio Olimpico scoring 41 goals and giving up 25. They’ve been very strong on the defensive end in their recent home contests winning their last three while maintaining a clean sheet against Juventus, Cagliari and Udinese. The home side is unbeaten in their last six against Parma with five wins. They won 2-0 in a previous matchup at Stadio Ennio Tardini earlier this season. They’re clearly the better side but taking a look at the Serie A betting odds the goal handicap is a concern. AC Roma has won by 3 or more only 3 times in their past 26 Serie A contests. Parma has lost by 3 or more only 3 times in their past 27 Series A contests.


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