12 March 2019
With Inter and AC Milan both secured wins in their respective Serie A clashes this weekend, AS Roma have to pick up all three points against Empoli at the Stadio Olimpico to keep their chances of securing the Champions League promotion alive.
The hosts come into this meeting off the back of a disappointing Champions League elimination to Porto, which has seen Claudio Ranieri replacing Eusebio Di Francesco on the bench. The Giallorossi lost 3-0 to Lazio in the Derby della Capitale last time out, as they currently sit six points adrift of fourth-placed Inter Milan. Ranieri can be pleased to know his players have racked up an eight-game home unbeaten run across all competitions in the build-up to this round (W6, D2), scoring 2+ match goals seven times in that period. However, La Lupa’s main problem relates to their inability to keep a clean sheet that has seen them concede nine of their previous ten home outings while allowing over 1.5 goals per match four times in the process.
Meanwhile, winless in their last two SA fixtures (D1, L1), the visitors are frantically looking over their shoulders as they currently sit just one point clear of the relegation territory. It will be a daunting prospect for Empoli to pick up all three points here, considering they’ve failed to clinch a victory at the Stadio Olimpico in all nine of their previous visits to this venue in the 21st century (W7, D2). What’s more, along with Chievo Verona, Gli Azzurri are the only team in the Italian top tier that is yet to pull off a triumph away from home (D4, L8). Additionally, now side has shipped more goals on the road than Empoli (28), with Giuseppe Iachini’s men preserving just one clean slate on 12 SA road trips this term. Another problem for the relegation-threatened visitors is that they’ve failed to find the back of the net in three of their last four SA away meetings.
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