Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is looking for a win tonight against Olympiakos that will mean qualification for the knockout phase is a near certainty.
“This is a chance to qualify that we should not miss,” Spalletti. Victory will guarantee that progress provided Shakhtar Donetsk fail to beat leaders Valencia in the group’s other fixture.
Spalletti however refuses to be complacent ahead of tonight’s game.
“They have won the Greek league, they are top again, and Rivaldo is scoring as well,” the coach warned. “They know they have nothing to lose.”
With strikers Vincenzo Montella and Mirko Vu?ini? out of form, Spalletti could start with Totti alone up front, while Simone Perrotta faces a late check on a knee injury. Olympiacos have worries of their own, with Uruguayan attacker Nery Alberto Castillo out with a respiratory infection, defender Grigoris Georgatos missing with flu, and Marco Né suffering from a knee injury.
Olympiakos boss Trond Sollied believes that there is plenty of pressure on his own players.
“We feel we do have something to lose, because if we win, everything is open for us,” said the Norwegian.
Olympiacos have not won away in 29 Champions League trips, yet Sollied sees reasons to be optmistic.
“The key is midfield,” said Sollied. “We have to do better than we did against Roma two weeks ago, and we must not allow their key players to play.”
Brazilian Rivaldo has been in fine scoring form, with four goals in five league appearances, including the strike that earned Saturday’s 1-0 win against Ergotelis.
Rested for that game in order to be fit for Roma was defender Georgios Anatolakis, while midfielders Ieroklis Stoltidis and Predrag Djordjevi? were kept on the bench.
Doni; Christian Panucci, Philippe Mexes, Matteo Ferrari, Cristian Chivu; Daniele De Rossi; David Pizarro, Alberto Aquilani, Simone Perrotta, Taddei; Francesco Totti.
Antonios Nikopolidis; Anastasios Pantos, Júlio César, Georgios Anatolakis, Michal Zewlakow; Ieroklis Stoltidis, Rivaldo, Christos Patsatzoglou, Predrag Djordjevic; Yiannis Okkas; Michalis Konstantinou.