Sassuolo vs. Roma: Preview and TV schedule

Paolo Bruno

Relegation-threatened Sassuolo invite a Roma team attempting to secure Champions League qualification to the Città del Tricolore with the home side desperate for points to help them remain in the top flight.

For fans of Sassuolo, the Serie A campaign has been one of frustrating inconsistency. A poor start gave way to a revival in the autumn, whereby they managed to haul themselves out of relegation trouble. However this was followed by a cold winter, as they lost 11 of 12 matches between December and the beginning of March. Although things briefly looked up, they have come back down with a bump, losing their last two matches and they are now five points behind Bologna in 17th place. Their run between mid-October and the end of November, where they only lost once in seven matches, seems a world away and they will need to recover some of that form to have any chance of remaining in Serie A.

After a club record-breaking unbeaten run at the start of the season, Roma have still managed to find consistent form and still remain in second, although Juventus are now virtually untouchable at the top of the table with a 14 point advantage -- even though Roma have lost just twice all season. With the scudetto all but out of reach, Roma have only to worry about the sides behind them and with Napoli, Fiorentina and Inter stumbling recently, a spot in the Champions League is looking assured. They sit 16 points clear of Fiorentina in fourth. The only real question is whether they will have to go through the qualifying rounds, but as they are six points clear of Napoli, it's looking as though the Giallorossi will be straight into the group stages of next season's tournament.

Not helping Sassuolo is a lengthy injury list, with five players sidelined and another five in doubt, it's not an ideal position to be fighting a relegation battle from. Roma will be without Kevin Strootman and Federico Balzaretti, but the good news is that both Maicon and Francesco Totti are likely to make a return.

Sassuolo injuries and suspensions

Out: Matteo Brighi, Raffaele Pucino,  Luca Marrone, Marius Alexe, Francesco Acerbi (injured). In doubt: Paolo Cannavaro, Antonio Floro Flores, Nicola Sansone, Luca Antei, Thomas Manfredini.

Roma injuries and suspensions

Out: Kevin Strootman, Federico Balzaretti (injured). In doubt: Maicon, Francesco Totti.

Projected lineups

Sassuolo: Pegolo, Gazzola, Pedro Mendes, Ariaudo, Longhi, Chibsah, Magnanelli, Missiroli, Zaza, Berardi, Floccari

Roma: De Sanctis, Maicon, Rafael Tolói, Leandro Castan, Romagnoli, Pjanić, De Rossi, Nainggolan, Totti, Gervinho, Destro

Match date/time: Sunday 30 March 2014, 12:30 local, 06:30 E.T.

Venue: Stadio Città del Tricolore (Reggio Emilia)

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy); RAI Internazionale, beIN Sport (USA); ESPN UK (UK).

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