Ranieri: Udinese 'toughest opponents'

Claudio Ranieri is wary of Roma’s ‘toughest opponents’ Udinese but is confident Alessandro Florenzi will return on Saturday.

Roma ended a run of defeats with a 1-0 win at Sampdoria last weekend, and Ranieri urged his side to keep going as ‘we have an objective to play for’.

“It’s too early to say if we’ve come out of our negative period, but the game against Samp gave everyone confidence. Now we must keep on like this,” he said at a Press conference.

“Udinese are the toughest opponents for us right now. They’re a stubborn team who sit back and counter.

“I’m very concerned about them, so we’ll have to be very careful and smart. We’ll need the help of our fans, who will push us on because we have an objective to play for.”

The Coach then discussed the likelihood of Florenzi coming back, his plans for attack and Daniele De Rossi’s influence.

“I’ve always thought about a game with two strikers. I like Schick and Dzeko together, but against Udinese only one of them will start,” he added.

“Florenzi is better, we’ll assess him today and see if he can play. Maybe we’ll play with three at the back.

“When a team’s goalscorer doesn’t score, their goals are always missed. We’re used to between 18-25 goals a season from him, but he’s playing well and putting in the right effort.

“Daniele has great power. He works box-to-box and I’m glad to have him back,” he admitted.

“Just having Daniele is great, but that he can play is the most beautiful thing.”

The match also marks a year since the Giallorossi knocked Barcelona out of the Champions League quarter-finals….

“I understand what you mean, but what happened in the past no longer matters,” asserted the 67-year-old.

“We’re interested in what’s to come and my thoughts are only with Udinese: I want a determined team, with the desire to win and qualify for Europe, even if the challenge will be difficult.”

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