ENRIQUE HOPING FOR LATE SURGE
Roma coach Luis Enrique is hoping his team will win at Lecce on Saturday to trigger a late-season run that would qualify the Giallorossi for next season's Champions League.
The capital club are sixth in the Serie A standings, four points behind third-placed city rivals Lazio, with only the top three teams earning spots in Europe's elite club competition.
"There are eight games remaining and anything can happen," said Luis Enrique, whose team beat Novara 5-2 last weekend. "If we reduce our current gap with Lazio, then anything is possible."
With Lazio facing a more difficult test against European hopefuls Napoli on Saturday, Roma know the importance of Saturday's game.
"We have to take a result tomorrow and, in order to do that, we have to play well," Luis Enrique said on Friday. "We cannot underestimate Lecce. Lecce are in need of a win and tomorrow's game is going to be difficult.
"But I expect my players to show a lot of determination in what is a crucial time in the season."
Lecce, coached by Serse Cosmi, have drawn their last three league games, including last weekend's goalless result at bottom side Cesena.
The result left the Salentini in 18th place, five points behind Fiorentina, who hold the last position of safety.
Lecce have found the back of the net just once in their last four league games.
"We have to make the most of our chances - something we have failed to do in recent games," Lecce striker David Di Michele said. "We need the right approach in this game.
"For us, tomorrow's encounter is like a World Cup final."
Di Michele, who is the team's top scorer with eight goals so far, will partner Luis Muriel in Lecce's attack.
The visitors are without captain Francesco Totti due to a thigh problem, while defenders Juan, Nicolas Burdisso and Marco Cassetti as well as striker Fabio Borini are all unavailable through injury.
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