Roma and Bordeaux’s Group A clash at the Stadio Olimpico will be an intriguing encounter if the pre-match talk of coaches Luciano Spalletti and Laurent Blanc is anything to go by.
Roma are top of the group with nine points, one ahead of Chelsea and two clear of Bordeaux.
“My team will play to win,” Spalletti said. “To think otherwise would be a massive error. In a game like this, the mental side is crucial. They will surely come out all guns blazing so we have to do the same. If we don’t, then we will immediately be on the back foot – a big psychological error if they go ahead.”
Mirko Vucinic hero of Matchday 4’s 3-1 triumph over Chelsea, should be fit after a knee problem to lead the attack alongside Julio Baptista and Francesco Totti. Rodrigo Taddei is definitely out, though.
“We will have to watch out for [Yoann] Gourcuff but, for me, Bordeaux’s strength is their teamwork,” added Spalletti.
Blanc picked out Roma’s captain as the man to watch out for.
“Totti can catch you at any moment,” he said. “But, in many respects, this is an easy match to prepare for because my players know what’s at stake.”
“It would be wrong to begin the game thinking we’re going to score a quick goal – that’s just not our game,” he said. “Much better to get our shape right and to wait for the right moment to score.
“It would surprise me if Roma went out on the attack, though it would not be such a bad thing for us. It would mean they would be taking risks to get a goal and we could take advantage. No, I think we will have to shore up the defence and play on the counter. We can’t make the same mistakes we made in London [a 4-0 loss to Chelsea FC on Matchday 1]. The longer the game stays at 0-0, the better it will be for us.”