Roma v Venezia preview: Last home game of the season

Roma will be donning their new home kit for their final match at Stadio Olimpico of the 2021-22 season on Saturday, when Venezia visit.

The focus is already fixed ahead both on and off the pitch, with a European final looming and next season’s home shirt being unveiled. It will be worn for the first time on Saturday, when Roma must attend to the first of their two remaining league matters this term.

There is still a lot to play for; Jose Mourinho’s side can finish anywhere between fifth and eighth. While winning the Europa Conference League would get them into the Europa League, coming fifth or sixth would give them a safety blanket before then.

Roma go into the weekend in the final Europa League spot, but arguably have the easiest fixture of the sides they are competing with. Fifth-placed Lazio are away at Juventus on Monday; seventh-placed Fiorentina visit Sampdoria on Sunday; and eighth-placed Atalanta face Milan on their travels on Sunday too.

With Lazio and Atalanta up against sides that have qualified for the Champions League, and Roma hosting the league’s bottom side, it could be an opportunity to make ground on the rival above and gain distance on those behind. But none of these results are foregone conclusions.

Indeed, in the reverse fixture in November, Roma suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat in Venice. They have a score to settle, then, and must work hard to get the points they need.

What’s more, the visitors will be motivated in their own way. Anything other than a win on their travels will send Venezia back down to Serie B; Roma could be the ones to put that final nail in their coffin.

The Lupi will have to go about the task without Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who remains injured, and Gianluca Mancini, who is suspended.

Even without those two regular starters, Roma on paper should have a better lineup than their opponents. Mourinho has confirmed he will not rotate too much, since this is an important fixture in the quest for Europa League qualification.

The final whistle will be followed by a lap of appreciation from the squad in front of another sell-out showing of the Roma faithful. They will be hoping to have earned a result to celebrate beforehand.

The game kicks off at 7:45pm UK time and will be live on BT Sport 1.

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