Coppa Italia Preview: Garcia urges Roma to rediscover early season form

After a mini-blip, Rudi Garcia has called on Roma to find their early season mentality in the Coppa Italia against Empoli.

Rudi Garcia has called on Roma to rediscover their early season spirit as he attempts to orchestrate a route past Empoli to the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

Roma have provided the greatest challenge to Juventus' Serie A dominance in recent times and they again sit second behind the champions.

However, three draws in the past four league outings has seen Roma slip five points off the pace in the race for the title.

Tuesday's last-16 Coppa tie against Serie A strugglers Empoli - who are just three points clear of the relegation zone - at the Stadio Olimpico represents a great chance to pick up a morale-boosting win.

And coach Garcia is determined to progress in a competition that Roma have won nine times.

"We need to get out there and play to win the match. We need to rediscover our early-season spirit," he said.

"We'll give 100 per cent in the Coppa Italia. It's the simplest way to win a trophy. We're paying it full respect.

"Empoli is a very organised team that's dangerous from dead-ball situations. They are having a great season." 

Defending champions Napoli continue their bid to retain the trophy against Udinese at Stadio San Paolo on Thursday.

Rafa Benitez's men defeated Fiorentina 3-1 in last May's final and are targeting a third Coppa in the past four seasons.

Napoli head into the game buoyed by a 1-0 victory at Lazio last weekend , while Udinese are hoping to end a five-match winless run.

Only Juventus and Roma have won the Coppa on more occasions than Inter's tally of seven and the competition may represent Roberto Mancini's best chance of winning silverware in his first season since returning to the San Siro.

The former Italy forward led Inter to back-to-back victories in his first spell at the club in 2005 and 2006, and he will have to find a way past Sampdoria in Wednesday's contest at San Siro to reach the last eight.

Wednesday's other tie sees last year's runners-up Fiorentina welcome Atalanta.