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Roma aiming for season resurgence in Feyenoord encounter

Serie A title challengers Roma will be aiming to get their season back on track and reverse their recent poor form when they host Dutch giants Feyenoord, in a last-32 Europa League meeting at the Stadio Olimpico.

Rudi Garcia’s Italian outfit, odds-on 1/2 favourites, have seen their campaign hit a stumbling block after failing to secure a home win since a victory over Inter Milan almost three months ago.

Optimism was extremely high before the season started, but following a premature exit from the Champions League in the group stages, an elimination by Fiorentina in the Copa Italia and a poor run of domestic league form, Feyenoord may find that it’s a terrific time to face Roma.

The Yellow-Reds’ struggles have been well documented this term, having went through a disastrous period since the turning of the New Year.

Garcia’s side have drawn five of their previous six Serie A games, delivering a crucial blow to any hopes of claiming the Scudetto over league leaders Juventus.

Roma will face the Old Lady in March, an encounter that could potentially decide the fate of this year’s Italian top-flight title, but their current focus is on Europa League progression.

Their Dutch opponents will be quietly confident of causing an upset, with the Italian capital outfit worryingly finding it difficult to turn draws into victories, after stuttering to a stalemate in five of their last eight home fixtures, and another draw in Rome is available at 10/3.

Fred Rutten’s Eredivisie side, 5/1 to win, are a massive 20 points adrift of league leaders PSV in the table, and have won just once in their previous five games on the road.

However, with the Serie A strugglers enduring a bad spell, it could be a closer contest than maybe previously expected, and the visitors are 12/1 to win and both teams to score at the Stadio Olimpico.

Former Arsenal attacker Gervinho will be available again for Roma, with the forward recently returning to action after an amazing African Cup of Nations triumph with the Ivory Coast. The astute African netted twice on the way to his country’s historic coup, and is 9/2 to open proceedings on his European comeback.

England’s former full-back Ashley Cole won this competition during his time at Chelsea under current Napoli boss Rafael Benitez, and has helped keep a clean sheet in his previous two outings. The home side are 6/4 to win to nil in their latest European tie.

Colin Kazim-Richards is set to lead the line for the Rotterdam-based club, having started his career in England, including spells with Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers. The 28-year-old is on loan from Turkish side Bursaspor, and is in fine form after striking nine times this term.

The in-form forward is 10/3 to score again anytime, having featured in Europe before, striking for Fenerbahce during the 2007/08 Champions League campaign.