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Strootman return a boost for Roma

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By ESPN Staff

Garcia worried by state of Roma pitch

Roma coach Rudi Garcia says the state of the Stadio Olimpico pitch is one of his greatest concerns ahead of Monday night's clash with Cagliari.

The Giallorossi lost top spot in Serie A for the first time this season on Sunday night when Juventus moved two points clear at the summit, and Garcia is worried his side's chances of moving back above them could be compromised by a turf left in poor condition by a rugby international.

Italy played Argentina at the Olimpico on Saturday and, in view of the heavy rain that has fallen over the capital in recent days, the state of the surface has suffered.

"I hope it's going to be possible to play on Monday night because a football needs to be able to roll on the ground, which is not the case with an oval rugby ball," Garcia said in the Corriere dello Sport. "It's a fact that the pitch is not going to be in good condition because it's rained for three days.

"To see a rugby game being played two days before a football game seems to be bizarre scheduling to me, but one of the qualities of a team is the ability to adapt to the pitch, the conditions and the opponents."

Garcia is therefore refusing to accept the state of the pitch as an excuse for failing to win for the third game running. Since starting the season with 10 straight victories, Roma have drawn their last two matches.

"Cagliari are a good side and they have strong players, but we're the home team and we want to win it," the French coach said. "We'll do all we can to get the result we want. It's up to us to stay top of the table, so in that case, we'll be top on Monday night."

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