Roma won their first date 2-1 early in the season as Juve stumbled out of the blocks with just one victory in the first six games.
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But the champions from Turin have since improved to rank second, two points behind leaders Napoli, and also boosted morale with Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Lazio in the Italian Cup.

Roma are heading in the opposite direction, slipping nine points off the top in fifth place with just one win, and six draws, from their last eight games.

Business24

The Giallorossi saw no improvement last weekend from the hiring of Luciano Spalletti, who took over from Rudi Garcia to begin a second coaching stint in Rome after leaving in 2009.

“It is a mental issue,” Spalletti said after a disappointing 1-1 home draw with tailenders Verona. “I have to work on mental issues. The physical level should be tackled later.”

Juve meanwhile are set on chasing Napoli, who crashed 2-0 at home to Inter Milan in the cup, but coach Massimiliano Allegri warned that the Roma date will be a very tough match.

“There remain 18 fixtures in the league and the top five sides are still all challenging for title honours. We’re in great form at present, but we have to keep going,” he said.

“In order to make further strides forward, I need to be able to count upon every single one of my players. They know they have to be in peak condition and, as a group, we need to continue to show plenty of humility.”

Napoli, who play away to lowly Sampdoria, look to forget the cup defeat, but could have coach Maurizio Sarri suspended after Inter boss Roberto Mancini accused him of a homophobic slur.

Inter host third-last Carpi but have lost the last two home games and drew 1-1 last weekend at Atalanta, but still rank third, four points behind Napoli.

Fourth-placed Fiorentina are coming off defeats against Lazio and AC Milan when they hope to get back on winning tracks when they open the Sunday programme at home against Torino.

Sassuolo v Bologna, Lazio v Chievo, Verona v Genoa and Palermo v Udinese are also played Sunday. Frosinone v Atalanta and Empoli v AC Milan are scheduled for Saturday.

Source: GNA

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