AS Roma host Atletico Madrid in Group C of the UEFA Champions League, with both teams looking to kick off their campaign with a win.
AS Roma has had a mixed start to their season. The club recently got dismantled by Inter Milan in Serie A and will be looking to bounce back with a positive performance against Atletico Madrid, who themselves have had a rocky start to their La Liga campaign.
While Los Rojiblancos have not faced defeat so far, 5 points from 3 matches is far from the desired result and Diego Simeone will be looking towards the AS Roma match to provide some momentum to his side.
The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the fixture.
Team News & Tactics
New signing Patrik Schick is out with a hamstring injury while Abdullahi Nura and Emerson are also sidelined with injuries to their Biceps and cruciate ligament respectively. Manager Eusebio Di Francesco has iterated that he is looking towards Kevin Strootman to inspire the side to a win over Atletico Madrid.
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. Eusebio will also not have to rotate the squad much, with their weekend game against Sampdoria getting postponed due to bad weather.
The manager, thus, will look to name the strongest squad available to him and could truly test Atletico Madrid, who have played over the weekend.
Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Juan Jesus, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; De Rossi, Strootman, Nainggolan; Perotti, El Shaarawy, Dzeko
Antoine Griezmann will be glad to see the UEFA Champions League group stage commence. The Frenchman has been on the sidelines after a red card in the first game of the season and will be raring to go out on the pitch on Tuesday.
Diego Simeone has no injury concerns to deal with and is likely to reinstate Antoine Griezmann upfront while it would be interesting to see how he rotates his squad after a 0-0 draw with Valencia over the weekend. Nico Gaitan could get the nod ahead of Yannick Carrasco on Tuesday if Simeone does decide to rotate.
Angel Correa is expected to be the one to make way for Griezmann while we could see Gabi return in the midfield for Atletico Madrid.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Oblak; Juanfran, Jose Gimenez, Godin, Filipe Luis; Gaitan, Koke, Gabi, Saul; Torres, Griezmann
1. Antoine Griezmann is yet to get off the mark this season, with no goals to his name.
2. Edin Dzeko was the primary goalscorer for Roma last season and led the line well in Europa League, with 8 goals in as many matches. The Bosnian will be eager to carry over his form into the Champions League as well.
3. Atletico Madrid kept as many as 8 clean sheets in the group stage over the last two Champions League campaigns
Player To Watch
Who else but the man who has successfully managed to keep pace and go toe-to-toe with the two footballing icons of the generation, in domestic, European and international competitions. The player is yet to get off the mark this season and could use Tuesday as an opportunity to do the same.
Roma seem to be a team that will take time to meld and adapt to the tactics of Eusebio Di Francesco and the Frenchman could take advantage of the same.
AS Roma 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid have opened their last two Champions League campaigns with a clean sheet and a narrow win. Tuesday looks like it could be more of the same. Although, one cannot discount the threat posed by Edin Dzeko & co., Los Rojiblancos look well prepared for the battle.
We expect Antoine Griezmann to get on the scoresheet and he could end up with more than one goal on Tuesday as he aims to open his account for the season – a tidy 2-0 win for the visitors.