The biggest event in football is back in town this weekend as top teams from all around Europe get ready to play the second leg of the Round of 16 of the Champions League.
Real Madrid lead 2-0 on aggregate when they line-up against Roma in the second leg of the Champions League knockout round of sixteen. The Los Blancos have ended their bad run of results against Italian opponents in European competitions with first leg win at the Stadio Olimpico. The 2 away goals conceded may provide a tough task for the visiting Serie A side.
Though Roma dumped Real Madrid in their last quarter-final appearance in the Champions League, it will be hard for Spalletti’s side to get anything from his game.
Here is the preview of this game along with the team news, predictions, expected line-ups and betting odds:
The Real Madrid vs Roma game will be played on Tuesday the 8th of March at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. The kickoff is scheduled at 7:45 pm GMT (1:15 am IST on Wednesday).
Zinedine Zidane has some major injury crisis despite the return of star winger Gareth Bale. Both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are sidelined due to injury, which means this will be another opportunity for young stars Mateo Kovacic and Casemiro to impress. Karim Benzema is still out and it may open an opportunity for Borja Mayoral or Jese to start here.
Roma manager will welcome Edin Dzeko and Seydou Keita into the starting lineup. Daniele De Rossi, Ezequiel Ponce, Norbert Gyomber and Elio Capradossi are injured for the Serie A side and confirmed absentees for the trip to the Spanish capital.
Navas; Carvajal, Marcelo, Ramos, Varane; Kovacic, Casemiro, Kovacic; Ronaldo, James, Bale.
Szczęsny; Digne, Rudiger, Manolas, Florenzi; Naingollan, Keita; Pjanic, El Shaarawy, Salah; Dzeko.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Rudiger:
Roma did well to keep the Portuguese away from harms reach for most of the first leg and Rudiger will once again have to put in a strong performance to stop Madrid’s hit-man from running away with this game.
Mohammad Salah vs Marcelo:
Salah showed his pace in the first meeting between the two sides and will once again be at it at the Bernabeu this mid-week. However, he will have to deal with an experienced defender in Marcelo who will have a handful of work to do on the night.
Roma have won 3 of their last 5 games against Real Madrid, and Real’s 2-0 win at Rome in the first leg is their first win after losing in the three previous encounter in a row.
Real were knocked out by Roma in the round of 16 of 2007/08 season on 4-2 aggregate, the Serie A team winning both legs 2-1.
The teams were drawn together in the group stages of 2004/05 seasons. Real emerged winners on both occasions by 4-2 at Madrid and 3-0 at Rome.
Madrid is one of two clubs still unbeaten in the Champions League this season, the other being Barcelona.
No team has scored more goals than Madrid in the Champions League this season (21, alongside Bayern Munich).
Meanwhile, Roma’s games have produced more goals than any other team in the competition this season: 29 (11 for, 18 against).
Real Madrid: 2/5
AS Roma: 67/10
Roma showed some resilience last time around and Madrid might just not find it as easy as it looks. Both teams are in good shape and have a good squad depth, but Real Madrid are heavy favorites to win this one. Not many teams have come here and won in recent seasons and this clash won’t be any different.
Our Prediction: Real Madrid 3-2 AS Roma