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Roma v Sassuolo Preview

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Needing help on both ends of the table to move back into second place, Roma travels to Reggio Emilia to take on Sassuolo.

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If I could completely disassociate myself from Roma, I'd probably be a Sassuolo fan. Not only are they defying the odds for a second straight season, but they play an attacking brand of football, they're led by a Roman and they're laden with young talent; young talent that actually gets a chance to play, imagine that. Not only are these selling points to the neutral observer, but they'll probably lead to Roma's downfall tomorrow.

Roma v.SassuoloApril 28 20:45 CET, 14:45 EDT Mapei Stadium Citta del Tricolore, Italia

I don't even care if Domenico Berardi is suspended or that Sassuolo has lost two of their last three matches. I can't even feign optimism anymore. I'm sorry.

Roma squad for Sassuolo: Astori, Balzaretti, Cole, De Rossi, De Sanctis, Doumbia, Florenzi, Gervinho, Ibarbo, Iturbe, Keita, Ljajic, Lobont, Manolas, Nainggolan, Paredes, Pjanic, Skorupski, Spolli, Torosidis, Totti, Ucan, Verde, Yanga-Mbiwa

The only squad news of note is the last minute exclusion of Jose Cholebas, who has been battling some minor injuries throughout the week. Without his services and with Ashley Cole pretty much a forgotten man, we can safely assume Garcia's fullback pairing will consist of Alessandro Florenzi and Vasilis Torosidis.

Seydou Keita was also a game time call, but has been deemed fit for service. However, most of the predicted lineups scattered over the Internet are calling for a Radja Nainggolan, Miralem Pjanic and Daniele De Rossi trio. The over/under on Nainggolan shots from 20 yards out is 2.5; I'd take the over on that one.

The controversy, as always, rests up top. With Francesco Totti looking increasingly fatigued and necessarily frustrated--one would think more than at any point in his career--we might see some amalgam of Gervinho, Victor Ibarbo, Adem Ljajic and/or Juan Iturbe. I think even Rudi Garcia realizes Seydou Doumbia is a sunken cost at this point.

Table Watching: Second place Lazio (one point ahead of Roma) plays host to 20th place Parma, so no help there, while fourth place Napoli (two points behind Roma) travels to 16th place Empoli, so no help there.

Enjoy the real world on Wednesday because Serie A may not offer much reprieve.