Bayern Munich top group E with nine points, Roma second with four points and Manchester City, CSKA Moscow have two and one point respectively in three matches.
Bayern Munich will qualify as Group E winners if they pick up a fourth consecutive victory in this season’s competition. AS Roma were hammered 7-1 at the Stadio Olimpico two weeks ago. Arjen Robben scored twice in Rome to keep Bayern in firm control of Group E and five points ahead of nearest rivals Roma. Roma remained in second place in the standings thanks to rivals Manchester City’s 2-2 draw at CSKA Moscow last time out.
Pep Guardiola, manager of Bayern munich says he is ready to unleash Franck Ribery on Roma after his impressive cameo in the win over Borussia Dortmund. The winger came off the bench with 20 minutes to go against Dortmund side on Saturday and sparked his side’s comeback, assiting a Robert Lewandowski’s equaliser before winning the penalty from which Arjen Robben scored the winner. Bayern will have important players absent for the match in the form of long-term injury victims Thiago Alcantara, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez.
Roma arrive in Munich with low confidence and form having lost to Bayern, Napoli and Juventus in their last seven games picking up just two Serie A wins in the process against Cesena and Chievo. Roma lost 2-0 at Napoli on Saturday and the manager Rudi Garcia hit out at his side’s mental approach after the defeat left them second to Juentus in the Serie A table. Defenders Davide Astori, Leandro Castan and Douglas Maicon will be missing the match due to injuries. Midfielder Daniele De Rossi was rested against Napoli and is set to return in this match.
Bayern manager pep guardiola predicted that the return clash with Roma would be much tougher than the first.
“Unfortunately, we won 7-1 and that will make our task harder, Roma have their pride and won`t want to experience something like that again. They have a very good, youthful side and can impose their game on you if you give them too much room. It`s a different game. We`re focused on the massive chance we have to progress to the next round.“
Roma manager Rudi Garcia believes his side have a “one in 10” chance of getting a positive result against Bayern Munich.
“We have a small chance of coming away with a positive result, perhaps one in 10, What matters is our performance. The last match against Bayern was a blip. We hope to upset the odds but the main thing is that we put in a gutsy display, that we’re aggressive and compact. If we do get our heads down and give them a fight we can do well. We want to enjoy this campaign. We’re not going out there feeling sorry for ourselves. We’ll see if we give a better account of ourselves than last time. Whatever happens won’t determine anything regarding qualification, we’ll still have two games to play.“
• Bayern Munich are 15 matches unbeaten, since losing 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup on 13 August.
• AS Roma’s Radja Nainggolan and Maicon are both a booking away from a suspension.
• Bayern Munich will guarantee a seventh successive appearance in the knockout rounds with victory.
Bayern Munich: WWDWW
AS Roma : LWDLW
Possible starting lineups:
AS Roma: Morgan De Sanctis; Vasilis Torosidis, Ashley Cole, Kostas Manolas, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa; Miralem Pjanic, Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi, Juan Iturbe; Gervinho, Francesco
Bayern Munich 3 – 1 AS Roma
Picture Courtesy: Getty Images