Chievo v Roma – Marcantonio Bentegodi at 17:00 live at BT Sport
Roma have the chance to increase the pressure on table-topping Juventus after beating the Old Lady last week to close the gap to four points.
That success ensured the Serie A title race remains alive until the penultimate round of fixtures – and perhaps lends credence to Luciano Spalletti’s claim that he deserves more credit than he has received recently.
To cling to the coat-tails of this Juventus for so long is no mean achievement – and if fortune had favoured either Roma in Turin or Napoli in either of their league meetings with Juve, this might have been a genuinely tense end to the season.
Roma to take an early advantage
As it is, all Roma can do is to keep winning and hope that Max Allegri’s team do suffer an unexpected collapse. The Giallorossi should at least keep their side of the bargain on Saturday evening by overcoming Chievo.
Roma have won seven of their last nine Serie A games – although the defeat to Lazio in that run will rankle. Only Napoli have won more away games than them this season and the capital’s club road record has been very impressive of late – picking up six successive triumphs and winning eight of their last nine.
Spaletti’s side have scored at least three goals in each of their past five games as guests and also lead at half-time in their last six fixtures outside of their fortress Stadio Olimpico home. With Edin Dzeko also expected to return, backing Roma with a -0.75 first-half Asian Handicap here at 1.84 holds plenty of appeal.
The visitors have suffered a sole reverse in 14 trips to Chievo and their hosts are likely to give some of the younger players a chance to impress in their final home match of the campaign with little else to play for.
Chievo’s struggles against the top-six
In fairness, the Flying Donkeys halted a five-match losing streak by collecting five points from a possible nine of late but their only success in eight came against struggling Genoa (W1-D2-L5) and Rolando Maran’s men have long found the going tough when faced with the league’s elite.
Chievo have W1-D1-L8 against top-six opposition this term, including four losses from five winless games at home. Since the start of 2013/14 the hosts have been beaten in 16 of their 23 games against the top-six on home soil and the Flying Donkeys are also without a collection of key players.
With Perparim Hetemaj out injured, Samuel Bastien will play in midfield whilst Riccardo Meggiorini will miss the rest of the campaign. Considering the hosts have scored just 22 home goals all season, Roma should have more than enough firepower to clinch another vital three points.
But back the Giallorossi to lead after 45 minutes – Chievo have conceded first in seven of their past 10 when welcoming top-six teams and a repeat here should ensure profit.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Roma -0.75 first-half Asian Handicap (1.84)
Prices correct at time of writing.