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Serie A

  • 11 May 2014
  • • 16:45
  • • Stadio Olimpico, Roma
  • Referee: C. Russo
  • • Attendance: 54097

Roma - Juventus Preview: Giallorossi playing for pride against champions

Roma - Juventus Preview: Giallorossi playing for pride against champions

Rudi Garcia's men are out to prevent their visitors from reaching a century of Serie A points after the disappointment of already ceding the Scudetto to the Bianconeri

Roma failed to deny Juventus a third successive Serie A title but can dent their hopes of breaking the league's total points record on Sunday.

The Bianconeri wrapped up the Scudetto on May 4 thanks to the Giallorossi's surprise 4-1 loss at Catania, thus allowing the Old Lady to coast through a 1-0 victory over Atalanta in a party atmosphere in Turin just over 24 hours later.

Last weekend's results make Sunday's clash - which has been moved forward three hours after violence in the capital marred the Coppa Italia final - at the Stadio Olimpico a lot less meaningful than it would have been, although Juve still have plenty for which to play.

A win for the newly crowned champions over Roma would secure Juve the highest points tally for a Serie A campaign - bettering Inter's haul of 97 in 2006-07.

The calming influence of midfielder Andrea Pirlo has been a major factor in Juve's progress under Antonio Conte and the veteran says that the club's success has helped ward off thoughts of retirement.

"My motivation to go on is very strong, simply because I love playing football and having fun on the pitch," the 34-year-old told L'Equipe. "I have always had fun every day on the training field and every weekend during the matches. I believe that is important. I don't feel any tiredness or weakness.

"I am happy at Juventus and I hope to be able to stay for a few more years."

Despite not being able to catch Juventus, Roma have secured the second automatic Champions League place and sit 13 points clear of third-placed Napoli.

While Juve won the reverse fixture at a canter in January, as goals from Arturo Vidal, Leonardo Bonucci and Mirko Vucinic helped see off nine-man Roma 3-0, Garcia's side have beaten Juve this season, triumphing 1-0 when the two sides met in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals in January.

Consequently, there has been no end of tension between the clubs, which has manifested itself in a very public spat between Garcia and Conte of late.

When Garcia urged other teams in the league to raise their games against Juventus, the Bianconeri boss labelled his counterpart as "provincial" and later stated that his side's achievements had become "almost expected" in comparison.

Despite their disagreements in the press over recent weeks and Roma's inability to stop Juve defending their title, Garcia is pleased with how his debut season in charge has panned out.

"[Juve] are accustomed to winning in Italy. We learned a lot this season but need to end the campaign better. Not only do the fans expect more next season but so do I and the players," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"I will add, Sunday's match must only be a festival of football - for Roma to show they are happy with our season and be proud of what we’ve achieved."

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