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  • Di Francesco's Roma head for Chievo desperate to build momentum

    Inter coach Spalletti's future is also under the spotlight after crashing out of the Champions League and Italian Cup File Photo Inter coach Spalletti's future is also under the spotlight after crashing out of the Champions League and Italian Cup

    Eusebio Di Francesco’s Roma head for Chievo on Friday looking to build momentum before their Champions League onslaught as the battle for Europe also heats up in the Italian league this weekend.

    Behind runaway leaders Juventus — who have 60 points from 22 games — and second-placed Napoli, nine points behind, the remaining two tickets for the elite European competition and the Europa League berths remain up for grabs with 10 teams in the running.

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    Inter Milan, in third, are still looking for their first win of 2019 after being held by Sassuolo and defeats against Torino and Bologna with no goals scored.

    Luciano Spalletti’s side have 40 points, but are now just four ahead of city rivals AC Milan and five ahead of pursuing Atalanta, AS Roma and Lazio.

    The pressure remains firmly on Roma coach Di Francesco after his side’s humiliating 7-1 Coppa Italia elimination by Fiorentina.

    They held AC Milan at the Stadio Olimpico last weekend thanks to promising teenager Nicolo Zaniolo who scored his third goal for his new club.

    And the side from the capital head to Verona looking for a confidence-boost against the league’s bottom club, before their Champions League last 16 first leg tie against Porto in Rome next Tuesday.

    “I’ve said to the boys that when you’re under the rubble you need to shake it off step by step,” said Di Francesco.

    “We need to try and build some consistency.”

    Di Francesco’s side have taken just two points from the last two league games and were held 2-2 by Chievo in Rome last September.

    Inter coach Spalletti’s future is also under the spotlight after crashing out of the Champions League and Italian Cup have gotten off to their worst start to the year in seven years.

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