AS Roma vs. Chievo, Preview: Fourth well within sight for in-form Giallorossi

Dino Panato

Roma's great recent form, culminating in a victory over Fiorentina at the weekend, has put them right amongst the European places whilst Chievo will simply look to frustrate their hosts.

Following their victory over fourth-placed Fiorentina at the weekend, Roma are now just three points off the Viola's fourth place in Serie A and whilst Milan's precious third and the Champions League qualification that goes with it may be slightly out of reach at seven points away, Roma and Aurelio Andreazzoli can in any case be pleased with their turnaround in the second half of the season. The long-time Roma assistant lost his first match but his side have recovered to only lose once since then and leap from 11th to fifth in the table, whilst also setting up a Coppa Italia showdown with city rivals Lazio. Pablo Osvaldo and Erik Lamela have been dynamite in recent weeks, amassing seven goals between them in the last four league matches, whilst Mattia Destro also appears to have got over his injury woes this season to begin to contribute on the goalscoring front.

Chievo are virtually safe in Serie A for another season, although there is still the slimmest of chances they could go down, sitting eight points above the relegation zone with nine points still to play for but much to many followers of Serie A's chagrin, the Flying Donkeys will be with us for another season. They played Cagliari at the weekend in a match where both sides combined to produce just one clear chance between them in one of the least entertaining encounters in living memory. The fact that Roma at least have something to play for should make this a slightly more interesting encounter however Chievo will do everything in their power to prevent any entertainment value being gleaned from the match, starting with their five man defence specifically aimed at parking as many men as possible behind the ball and stifling any attempt their opponents have at creating anything resembling a clear chance.

Both sides are relatively untroubled by injury, Maarten Stekelenburg out for Roma meaning we will get the 'spectacle' of either Bogdan Lobont or Mauro Goicoechea between the sticks. Chievo are still without captain fantastic Sergio Pellissier but have no new injury concerns after their exhibition against Cagliari at the weekend.

Roma injuries and suspensions

Out: Maarten Stekelenburg (injured); In doubt: Leandro Castan, Daniele De Rossi.

Chievo injuries and suspensions

Out: Gabriel Hauche, Sergio Pellissier, Nikos Spyropoulos, Simone Bentivoglio (injured).

Match date/time: Tuesday 7th of May 2013, 20:45 local, 14:45 E.T

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: Sky Sport 1 Italia, Sky Supercalcio, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), beIN Sport, RAI Internazionale (USA), ESPN UK/HD (UK).

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