Serie A top-six hopefuls Roma will be looking to get their stuttering domestic season back on track against rock-bottom Venezia at the Stadio Olimpico. After going winless in their last four league outings (D2, L2), the Giallorossi have thrown their hopes of securing a place in next season’s Europa League into doubt.
Coming into the penultimate round of Serie A fixtures, Roma are sixth in the standings, albeit level on points with seventh-placed Fiorentina, who defeated them 2-0 last time out. An underwhelming loss at Artemio Franchi saw Jose Mourinho turn his tears of joy for guiding the Giallorossi to their first European final in 31 years into his usual rants at refereeing.
After alternating between draws and defeats in their last four Serie A outings, Roma will embrace Venezia’s visit to the Stadio Olimpico as a glorious opportunity to get back to winning ways. However, the travelling side will fight tooth and nail to take home all three points, aware that anything other than that will send them back to Serie B.
Venezia brought an uninspiring ten-match losing league streak to a halt last time out, courtesy of a 4-3 triumph over Bologna in a topsy-turvy encounter at the Stadio Pierluigi Penzo. Yet, it could be too little, too late for Andrea Soncin’s side to avoid relegation. They languish five points adrift of safety, meaning other results have to go their way to maintain top-flight status.
In fact, if Salernitana stay unbeaten against Empoli earlier today, the Lagunari will be relegated before kick-off. Adding to Venezia’s sizeable list of worries, they have lost their last six league matches on hostile turf, drawing a blank in half of them.
All that leads to one conclusion – Roma could have a walk in the park on Saturday evening.
Mourinho’s men are unbeaten in their last seven Serie A games at the Stadio Olimpico (W4, D3), keeping five clean sheets in that spread of matches. Moreover, only three sides have amassed more points at home than the Giallorossi (35) this Serie A season.
That’s despite Roma’s measly scoring ratio of 1.38 goals per home match. Indeed, they have netted just one goal in their last two home fixtures across all competitions, though it was Tammy Abraham’s semi-final decider against Leicester City last time out.
With Roma gunning for an all-important win and Venezia facing certain relegation, there is not much the visiting fans can cling on to in the nation’s capital.