Roma coach Rudi Garcia feels Juventus remain the team to beat in Serie A this campaign, despite collecting just one point from their opening three fixtures.
The Turin side have dominated Serie A in recent seasons, clinching the last four titles, yet they have already fallen six points behind last season’s runners-up Roma this term, while leaders Inter are eight points clear.
Garcia is not getting carried away, though, and has stressed that Roma cannot afford to lose focus if they are to stay clear of Juventus.
“Serie A will be more open this year, but I’m still of the opinion that Juventus are favourites,” the Roma coach said at a press conference.
“We just want to continue our winning run against Sassuolo on Sunday and make it three in a row.
“We need to give everything on the pitch if we want a result. And we want to win.”
Roma were without playmaker Miralem Pjanic in their 1-1 Champions League draw with Barcelona earlier this week, yet the midfielder could make an early return versus Sassuolo.
“Pjanic has recovered more quickly than expected. Doctors, physios and Miralem himself did a great job,” Garcia added.
“Miralem could start the match or come on as a sub without running any risks.”
Roma will be without Wojciech Szczesny on Sunday due to injury, but Garcia is confident Morgan De Sanctis is an adequate replacement.
“We knew all about Szczesny before he joined. He’s a talented, experienced goalkeeper,” he stated.
“Fortunately he didn’t fracture his finger but we have to treat him properly so there are no risks.
“We’re lucky to have two top goalkeepers. De Sanctis showed that when he came on against Barcelona.”