Champions League Preview: A.S Roma vs. Bayern Munich
Roma, who comprehensively won their league game against Chievo Verona 3-0 at Stadio Olimpico with goals from Mattia Destro, Adem Ljajic and Captain Francesco Totti, whilst the German outfits managed to scores six goals past Werder Bremen in Bundesliga.
Both sides are currently unbeaten in the Group with the German champions thus far have edged Manchester City and CSKA Moscow each by 1-0 victories, earning a perfect record after two games. The 2013-14 Serie A runners-up hammered CSKA 5-1 before drawing 1-1 with Manchester City. They stand two points behind their guests but could lead the group after matchday three should they get the better of Tuesday’s proceedings.
Franck Ribery could be in line for a return to the starting XI, having played the final half an hour of their 6-0 win over Werder Bremen at the weekend.
Pepe Reina is unlikely to travel with the team as he continues his recovery from a calf injury, while Thiago Alcantara remains sidelined after suffering a new ankle ligament tear in training earlier this week.
Former Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita misses out on a reunion with previous boss Pep Guardiola with a calf injury. Leonardo Castan (thigh) and Kevin Strootman(knee) are also sidelined. Juan Iturbe returned to training ahead of the clash.
Kostas Manolas is currently serving a suspension for a dismissal in Serie A, but the defender is available for this competition if only Rudi Garcia wants to make changes at the back.
These two sides last met in the same competition back in 2010 at the same venue and a five goal thriller ended with Roma taking all three points with an impressive 3-2 win.
The German side had led 2-0 at halftime thanks to a brace from now Serie A forward Mario Gomez. A second half fightback of brilliance from the Italians included goals from Marco Borriello, Daniele De Rossi and the talismanic Francesco Totti completed the turnaround.
A Midfield of Miralem Pjanic, Daniele De Rossi and Radja Nainggolan can be fielded by Rudi Garcia, their attacking front will be consist of Gervinho, Francesco Totti and Florenzi according to reports.
It’s entirely possible that Vasilis Torosidis will start in the Roma defense, but recent history of their lineups suggests that Maicon and Cole will be selected. And in either case, at least one aging full-back will almost undoubtedly play. Roma will have to team-up to defend on the wings if they are to salvage a good result.
Pep might start David Alaba, Bonfim Dante, Jerome Boateng and Bernat at back. With Philip Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben in mid to support Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski but a huge change can be applied by Pep which depends on their tactics.
These two sides met twice in the Group Stage of the Champions League 2010/11, when they shared a home win each.
Roma have shared only one draw in their last 16 meetings against German opponents, winning seven times (L8).
Bayern have won their last three Champions League games against Italian teams, keeping a clean sheet in the last two.
Bayern Munich recorded 919 passes in their last Champions League match against CSKA Moscow, 143 more than any other side has managed in a CL match this season.
In fact, Pep Guardiola’s side have made the most passes so far in this season’s Champions League (1582).
The Germans also had the most touches in the opposition box over the first two rounds (76).
Juan Iturbe is one of only two players to have made two assists in a single game of this season’s Champions League.
Five Bayern’s players have already completed more than 100 passes in a game of this Champions League: Xabi Alonso, Philip Lahm, Dante, Medhi Benatia and David Alaba.
In the last round against Manchester City, Francesco Totti became the oldest goalscorer in the history of the Champions League (38 years, 3 days old).
Roma: De Sanctis, Maicon, Manolas, Yanga-Mbiwa, Cole, Pjanic, De Rossi, Nainggolan, Gervinho, Totti, Florenzi
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Alaba, Benatia, Dante, Bernat, Lahm, Alonso, Ribery, Robben, Muller, Lewandowski
Roma 2-2 Bayern Munich
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