Roma are to host top of the group CSKA Moscow as they hope to build on their recent form. Sitting third in the group, they will hope to silence the Russian supporters with a convincing win. CSKA will be oozing with confidence after their 1-0 triumph over Real Madrid.
Roma Host CSKA Moscow in Champions League Clash
Roma’s Domestic Improvement Gives Fans Confidence
Roma will hope that their recent domestic form will transfer into the Champions League as they push for qualification. Sitting seventh in the league after a rough start to their campaign, they have won four out of their last five games. They have impressed both going forward totalling 14 goals and defensively, only conceding three times in five games.
Edin Dzeko is the man that every Roma fan will be relying on to keep their Champions League hopes alive. Scoring a hat-trick against Viktoria Plzen not only impressed Roma fans but fans across the globe. Despite this, though, CSKA are likely to have the same defensive set up as they did against Madrid.
Roma’s Squad Depth and Skill Base Will Prove Useful
Roma have multiple ways to break down CSKA’s defence. They can use the aerial threat of Edin Dzeko and the slick skills of El Shaarawy to break down the Russian walls. They also have Cengiz Under in their locker. He has shown his efficiency in front of goal in the league, with 75% of his shots finding the target, and two finding the net in Serie A so far.
Roma’s collective goal scoring record in recent games has impressed and bodes will for the upcoming fixture. On the other hand, whilst CSKA Moscow have won three out of their last five games. The main striker, 20-year-old Fedor Chalov, has eight goals to his name this season. As he is their only high scoring striker, if Roma can neutralise Chalov they shouldn’t have any problems against the visitors.
CSKA are Happy to Defend and Rely on the Counter
Despite not scroing tremendous amounts, CSKA are still picking up maximum points in most of their games. Sitting third in the league and top of group G as we approach the half way point has many of the fans full with confidence.
CSKA will happily sit ten men behind the ball for 90 minutes and wait for a counter attack. Chalov loves drifting past defenders and slotting the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net. However, with Roma’s solid defensive record, I can’t see CSKA punishing Roma on the break.
Italy Set For an Important Fixture
The backroom staff will have watched the replays of the Madrid game and worked on where they went wrong defensively. They will have also watched CSKA’s impressive win and focused on how to eliminate the threat of the counter attack.
At the start of the tournament, no one would have expected Roma v CSKA Moscow to be such an important game. But group G is still wide open and every player will be hoping to become the next club legend and seal victory for their team. I fully expect Roma to dominate possession of the ball and dictate play. CSKA will be glad of a point to stay in qualification position but Roma won’t be happy with anything other than a win.