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Champions League Preview: Roma v Atletico Madrid

12 Setiembre 2017

"After we played the last game of last season, at the Calderon, I spoke to all the people at the stadium and told them my thoughts and plans", Simeone told a press conference ahead of the Champions League tie at Roma.

Now is the time for the club to take the last remaining step forward in their quest for glory and go all the way in the Champion League. Indeed, Roma hit the woodwork no less than three times in that match, and will be hoping to have more luck against their Spanish visitors on Tuesday. This weekend's fixture away to Sampdoria was postponed due to severe storms in the Liguria region and - whilst some would say they have had an extra weekend to rest - the truth is that the side could have done with the extra playing time. The two teams faced each other in 2012, with Madrid coming out on top on both occasions (5-2 at home and 3-0 away). The La Liga side finished third last season and reached the Champions League semifinals for the third time in the past four years.

Predicting the outcome may prove to be a little difficult, as the capital club have only played two matches so far in the current campaign.

One of the players responsible for ensuring that this doesn't happen is Spanish wonderkid Saul Niguez.

Time to Get up and get off the mark.

They do have some serious firepower, however, and it is almost certain that the failure to score won't be a regular feature of this Atleti side. They are the side to beat in this group, even if Chelsea won their league last year.

The Dutch international will be integral to Roma's play on Tuesday and the midfield battle, which is likely to decide the flow of the game, will largely depend on Strootman's ability to dictate tempo.

Emerson and Patrik Schick are both expected to miss out, but the versatile Alessandro Florenzi could make his return from injury after almost twelve months out. The Bosnian will be eager to carry over his form into the Champions League as well.

History is somewhat against the Serie A outfit, as they exited the Champions League in the qualifying rounds last term, also having lost their last six previous encounters in the elite competition. "I want to see a determined team because it'll be a real battle". It's an experience, but all that matters is tomorrow.

Roma coach Eusebio di Francesco welcomed the news that Totti would also be starting to work towards a coaching diploma in September.

Champions League Preview: Roma v Atletico Madrid