Roma Women face their toughest remaining opponent of the Serie A Femminile season on Saturday when they are hosted by Sassuolo.
It’s a battle between second and third in what will be a crucial 90 minutes in the race for the final Champions League spot. For Roma, it also marks the end of a run of four straight league fixtures against the other members of the top five; they have got this far with an unbeaten run of nine games in all competitions intact, so are aiming to remain unscathed.
Doing so would be a major boost for their hopes of finishing second for the first time ever. It would also keep them within fairly close range of league leaders Juventus, who have a slightly tougher run-in (despite their obvious quality meaning any faint hopes of a Roma title challenge seem to have quickly dissipated).
Still, Roma are in the territory they have been targeting, so will not want to weaken their three-point cushion over Sassuolo. Replicating the result of the reverse fixture, which was a 2-0 win thanks to a Valeria Pirone brace against her former club, would increase the gap to six points with four games left.
Sassuolo v Roma Women team news
There will be some issues for them to deal with in the wide areas, though. Annamaria Serturini has tested positive for Covid-19 and Emilie Haavi remains out with injury. Also absent from the squad list is backup goalkeeper Emma Lind.
It means there is a chance of Alessandro Spugna reverting to a 3-5-2 formation after mixing it up with a 4-3-3 recently.
Captain Elisa Bartoli should make her 80th start for the club, becoming just the second player to do so after Serturini. Fellow full-back Angelica Soffia is also in line for an 80th appearance in Roma colours, which only Serturini and Bartoli have managed before her. Should she start as expected, it would be her 50th league start for the club.
Full team news should come out one hour before kick-off, which is scheduled for 1:30pm UK time.