Roma, Atletico Madrid Meet in Early, Pivotal Champions League Group Match

1:13 | Planet Futbol
Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng: Everyone is gunning for Real Madrid
Monday September 11th, 2017

Roma host Atletico Madrid at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday in the opening game of the Champions League group stages.

It could well prove a crucial early encounter in a group that also includes Premier League champions Chelsea.

Classic Encounter

Roma 1-2 Atletico Madrid (16/03/1999)

Meetings between these two sides have certainly been sparse. Atletico's visit to the Italian capital will be their first of the 21st century, the most recent coming in 1999 in the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup.

An entertaining clash in Roma saw the hosts take a first-half lead through Marco Delvecchio, but the visitors completed an impressive comeback in the second half courtesy of goals from Carlos Aguilera and Roberto.

Los Colchoneros went on to progress into the semi-finals with a 4-2 aggregate win.

Team News

Paolo Bruno/GettyImages

Roma are expected to be without both Emerson and Patrik Schick, although Alessandro Florenzi could be set to make his first appearance in nearly 12 months.

Atletico, meanwhile, rested a number of players in Saturday's 0-0 draw against Valencia and could bring the likes of Diego Godin, Jose Gimenez and Šime Vrsaljko back into the side. Antoine Griezmann is also set to return after his La Liga suspension.

Lineups

Potential Roma lineup: Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov, Nainggolan, Rossi, Strootman, Defrel, Dzeko, Perotti.

Potential Atletico Madrid lineup: Oblak; Vrsaljko, Gimenez, Godin, Luis, Koke, Partey, Saul, Carrasco, Correa, Griezmann.

Prediction

DESIREE MARTIN/GettyImages

Roma have started the Serie A season with a win away at Atalanta, and then a disappointing home defeat against Inter, so their early form is somewhat tumultuous. But they will be fresher than their opposition having seen Saturday's scheduled game against Sampdoria postponed.

Diego Simeone's decision to rest players against Valencia could prove wise for that very reason. Atletico will likely be confident of coming away from Rome with a draw at the least, particularly with Antoine Griezmann available and no injury concerns.

The visitors will be considered favourites, and rightly so, but it could be a close encounter.

Roma 1-2 Atletico Madrid

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