Roma Coach Rudi Garcia believes “all the pressure is on Napoli” tomorrow and defended Daniele De Rossi.
This battle of third against second kicks off at the Stadio San Paolo at 19.45 GMT on Sunday, click here for a match preview.
Rafa Benitez said this was a “fundamental game” for second place, but the Giallorossi Coach poured cold water over that statement.
“It’s not the Serie A Final,” he said in his Press conference. “There are another 11 games after this for them, 12 for us, and we have a six-point advantage with a game in hand.
“The pressure is on Napoli, as if they lose tomorrow then it’s practically all over. If we lose, we’ll still be in second place with a buffer. We are strong, so are they, and I hope to see the same kind of spectacle that we had in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.”
Roma won the first leg 3-2 at the Olimpico, but were hammered 3-0 at the San Paolo and eliminated, allowing Napoli to go forward and face Fiorentina in May’s Final.
“So far this season we have played Napoli three times, winning twice. They have the second most prolific attack in Serie A, we have the third. Anything can happen and we must show, as we did after losing to Juventus in Serie A and beating them in the Coppa Italia, that we can win anyway.
“The best team wins, I hope to see a great game and we need everyone to be at 100 per cent for that to happen.
“The real problem in the Coppa against Napoli was distraction on set plays, so tomorrow we must be ready to make the most of those situations.
“Would a draw be acceptable? Of course, but if you play for a draw then you risk defeat. We must always play looking for the victory.”
Francesco Totti is still injured and Daniele De Rossi suspended after his three-match ban was confirmed on appeal. The midfielder also lost out on Italy’s friendly against Spain due to the ban, as it broke the code of ethics.
“A code of ethics is only right, but the problem is that everything comes down to interpretation,” argued Garcia.
“Daniele had already been dropped before the ban was made official, so it was just the TV images that punished him. In my view it was better to call him up first and then send him back home after the Disciplinary Commission ruling.
“TV images are like statistics, they can be made to make any point. Everyone saw and in slow motion it looked violent, whereas at normal speed it appeared to be a normal movement towards Mauro Icardi. I am not defending Daniele, but he told me he didn’t even notice doing it and neither did Icardi. Football is a contact sport, not dance.”
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