Kick-off: 19:45 (BST)
Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has played down talk of revenge as his players return to Old Trafford, the scene of their 7-1 defeat to Manchester United at the quarter-final stage of last season’s competition.
Referring to last season’s humbling experience, Spalletti spoke of a determination to “show that it was just a blip in our development and draw a line under it.”
“If we talk about a vendetta, this could mean a lack of calm and balance in our play and at this level, it is not something we can do,” he continued. “We have to remember what we suffered last time, where we went wrong and go out in the kind of condition that will enable us to play against a team as strong as Manchester United.”
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledged that the reunion represented “a big occasion” for Roma and conceded that there would be no repeat tonight.
“It was a one-off, it won’t happen again – European football is just not that way nowadays. It was an exceptional performance on the night,” said Ferguson.
Ferguson, aware that his side have hardly been prolific in front of goal this season, admitted that Roma’s return was a “reminder of the elusive form that we are still searching for.”
Ferguson, with an array of attacking talent at his disposal, has struggled to find the right blend for his team.
“We are using Wayne (Rooney) as the more advanced player and Carlos (Tevez) dropping in. They’ve got a bit of understanding,” he said. “They’re good players and the ability they’ve got will soon gel.”
The United manager may have to cope without two of his back four, with Nemanja Vidic and Wes Browndoubtful having missed training on the eve of the match. Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar already sidelined with a damaged toe, meaning a first European start for Tomasz Kuszczak.
Roma arrived in Manchester without Christian Panucci, who has a back problem, and with Spalletti expected to recall the fit-again Alberto Aquilani in midfield in place of David Pizarro.