Totti: Big gap to make up for Roma
Roma captain Francesco Totti admits his side will have their work cut out to wipe out AC Milan's seven-point advantage at the top of Serie A.
The Eternal City giants host Catania on Thursday looking to keep up the pressure on the leaders.
"Seven points is a big margin," Totti said. "But there are still many games left to play and we will continue to battle for the scudetto."
Roma have reason to be confident following their 1-0 win at Milan in their last game before the winter break.
The result lifted the Giallorossi to fifth in the standings.
Roma coach Claudio Ranieri hopes his team can start the new year on the right foot. Nine years have passed since Roma last won their first game of the year and Ranieri has warned his players to expect a battle against Catania.
"It's going to be a difficult game," he said. "Catania will put up many hurdles but we have to win.
"We have to start the year well and we must get points this month in order to have a say in the league."
Roma are hoping midfielder Daniele De Rossi can recover from flu in time to play.
Totti is expected to lead Roma's attack alongside top-scorer Marco Borriello.
Catania travel to the Stadio Olimpico looking for their first win on the road in 11 months.
The Sicilian outfit lie 12th in the standings thanks to their good performances at home this season, where they have lost just once.
With just three points collected on the road this term, Catania coach Marco Giampaolo knows his team must improve that record.
"We must continue to improve," he said. "It's imperative that we start winning on the road.
"We need to play better and show our quality away from home."
Victory tomorrow would be a big boost in confidence for Catania ahead of their home game against Inter Milan on Sunday.