Who: Roma v. CSKA Moscow
What: UEFA Champions League Group G
Where: Rome, Italy
When: 3:00 Eastern Standard Time
How (To Watch): Bleacher Report Live or Univision Deportes En Vivo (USA)
For better or worse, Roma won’t have much time to dwell on Saturday’s surprise defeat at the hands of SPAL. With CSKA Moscow coming the Olimpico on Tuesday, EdF and company will have to put Saturday’s negative league result behind them quickly. Perhaps a Champions League match is just what the doctor ordered, since Roma has produced better results in Europe than domestically during the Italian technician’s tenure.
Their last time out in the Champions League, the Giallorossi got off to a quick start against Viktoria Plzen at the Olimpico and never looked back. The 5-0 victory was a major boost for the Giallorossi after their heavy defeat in Madrid to open the group stage. Roma currently sit joint second in the group with Real Madrid on three points.
Tuesday’s opponents, CSKA Moscow, currently lead the group with four points after their shock 1-0 victory over Los Blancos in Russia on match day two. The team has also performed well to open the Russian Premier League season, as they sit tied for second just four points behind leaders Zenit after 11 matches.
With Plzen looking like the potential whipping boys of the group, Roma’s matches against CSKA look vital. Despite their recent struggles, Real Madrid are still the group favorite, which means Roma and CSKA will likely battle it out for the right to move on to the knockout round. The two teams will square off on consecutive match days, so it’ll be imperative that Roma come away with three points at home on Tuesday.
The squad should receive a big personnel boost for the match. Daniele De Rossi and Aleksander Kolarov are expected to be back after missing out on Saturday’s match due to injury. The two couldn’t be returning at a better time with CSKA on Tuesday followed by traveling to Naples over the upcoming weekend. Roma sorely miss their leadership over the weekend and both are expected to be on the pitch from the opening whistle.
Kostas Manolas who was rested against SPAL is also expected to regain his starting spot. With Manolas and Kolarov back in the fold, Luca Pellegrini and Ivan Marcano will give way. Meaning the defense in front of Robin Olsen will consist of Alessandro Florenzi, Federico Fazio, Manolas, and Kolarov.
EdF is expected to continue employing the 4-2-3-1 formation. De Rossi will be playing alongside Steven N’Zonzi in front of the defense in place of Bryan Cristante. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Cengiz Ünder should retain their starting places in support of Edin Dzeko. However, Justin Kluivert will replace Stephan El Sharaawy on the left side of the attack.
Roma (4-2-3-1): Olsen; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; De Rossi, Nzonzi; Ünder, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Kluivert; Dzeko. Coach: Eusebio Di Francesco
CSKA Moscow (3-4-2-1): Kyrnats; Rodrigo Becao, Magnusson, Nababkin; Mario Fernandes, Oblyakov, Akhmetov, Efremov; Dzagoev, Vlasic; Chalov. Coach: Viktar Hancarenka