Saturday May 3 2014
Garcia: 'Scudetto race is over'

Roma Coach Rudi Garcia admits “the Scudetto race is over” regardless of their result in Catania, “but we’ll play to win anyway.”

It kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT) at the Stadio Massimino, click here for a match preview.

Despite nine consecutive victories, the Giallorossi are still eight points adrift of Juventus and the title could be assigned on Monday if Atalanta lose in Turin.

“Could our victory in Catania put pressure on Juve? No, the Scudetto race is over,” shrugged Garcia in his Press conference.

“Our result won’t change anything, but we’ll play to win anyway, as we want to extend our winning streak. It’ll be tough on their home turf, but we want to play well and give our all, even if it’s meaningless in terms of the title.

“We compliment Juve, a great club with great players. Their record-breaking campaign is in part down to us and vice-versa.”

Roma already set a new club record of points in a single Serie A season, but Juventus are on track to amass 100 points – something no team has ever achieved in this Division.

Despite their domination in Italy, Juve were knocked out of the Europa League semi-final by Benfica on Thursday and consequently the Portuguese League will surpass Serie A in the rankings.

“Serie A is very tough and I can tell you Portugal isn’t very difficult, so you can rest many players and still get results. You can’t do that here.

“Last season Benfica lost all three chances of silverware at the last hurdle. Now they are back in the Europa League Final and as such have already won, because this is the path to follow. We haven’t won anything yet, but must surf on this positive wave.”

Garcia warned Rafael Toloi is out injured, while Leandro Castan interrupted this morning’s training session early due to a muscular problem and Mehdi Benatia is recovering after a long lay-off.

“We’ll try to be competitive even with all these problems. There’s Tin Jedvaj and Daniele De Rossi, so either way we’ll have players who can start at centre-back.

“I don’t know if we will win in Catania, but we’ll certainly go there with that intention. I am highly motivated, as we got nine wins in a row and want the 10th. You can tell a professional when there are no more objectives in the table, as he has to play to his best out of respect for the League and all the opponents.”

Garcia was asked whether Roma felt themselves the ‘moral victors’ of the Serie A campaign.

“The only moral victory I care about is seeing our fans rediscover their pride in supporting this team. It means we played well and gave our all, keeping the attitude of a team unit. Next year we have to work on this, as it’ll be tough without strength in depth.”

The Coach was asked about an interview in which Miralem Pjanic said he’d be interested in moves to Paris Saint-Germain or Barcelona.

“I read what he said, but I saw it as a polite response to PSG, plus who doesn’t like the way Barcelona play? I am very optimistic he will remain at Roma.”

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