Football

UEFA Champions League, Group G: Real Madrid vs Roma preview

The first place in Group G will likely be decided on Tuesday evening when Roma host Real Madrid at Olimpico. Teams head into the Matchday No 5 lock on nine points after four games so far in the campaign.

They are both five points off CSKA Moscow in third and they could both secure the knockout stage regardless of the outcome in this tie if Plzen avoids a defeat in the Russian capital.

The international break killed the momentum for both Roma and Madrid who disappointed in their respective domestic defeats at the weekend. Roma fell 1-0 away at Udinese, while Santiago Solari’s impressive four-win thread came to an end in the cruelest of fashions as Eibar destroyed Los Blancos 3-0 in the first game of the La Liga day on Sunday.

These two sides have met each other quite frequently in recent years. This will be their seventh H2H clash since 2014. Madrid won four in a row coming into this one.

Los Blancos picked up a comfortable 3-0 victory on the opening matchday. Isco, Gareth Bale and Mariano Diaz were on the scoresheet.

Roma will head into the match without the services of Kostas Manolas who missed the defeat to Udinese. He suffered an ankle injury that he picked up while in action for Greece during the international break.

Daniele De Rossi has not played since the end of October due to a knee problem, meanwhile, and is expected to miss out once again.

Real scored four or more goals on three occasions in five matches under Santiago Solari. However, the new manager is about to face his first serious test to raise the spirits in the dressing room after a demolishing defeat to Eibar.

The trip to Olimpico will be a tough one for the holders as Roma won seven on the spin in front of the home crowd in the Champions League. Eusebio Di Francesco’s troops rebounded from the initial defeat to real with three straight wins.

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