Roma play host to Porto at the Stadio Olimpico as both teams aim for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
The Italian side, who lied sixth in Serie A, qualified by winning three matches in Group G, in which they finished second to Real Madrid but ahead of Czech outfit Viktoria Plzen and CSKA Moscow.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese champions topped Group D, seeing off Schalke into second, Galatasaray into third and Lokomotiv Moscow in fourth.
Both see this as a winnable tie, but who will prevail?
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Cengiz Under remains the key absentee for Roma, who are also without Patrick Schick, who is set to miss two or three weeks due to a thigh injury, Diego Perotti and Rick Karsdrop.
Goalkeeper Robin Olsen is in the squad but is a doubt because of calf trouble.
Possible Roma starting XI: Olsen; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Cristante, De Rossi, Pellegrini; Zaniolo, Dzeko, El Shaarawy.
MoraesPorto have been dealt a blow with 16-goal forward Moussa Marega missing out due to injury along with fellow attackers Vincent Aboubakar and Marius Mouandilmanji.
Jesus Corona is banned and Chancel Mbemba is missing.
Possible Porto starting XI: Casillas; Militao, Felipe Augusto, Pepe, Telles; Pereira; Oliver, Herrera; Rotunno, Tiquinho Soares, Brahimi.
Roma are 1/1 favourites to take an advantage into the second leg at Bet365. Porto can be backed at 3/1, while a draw is 13/5.
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Roma were one of the stories of the Champions League last season as they caused a sensation by defeating Barcelona en route to the semi-finals of the competition, where they were ultimately edged by Liverpool, and the Italian side are of the belief that they can replicate that sensational run.
So far, the draw has been kind to them, with a manageable group followed by a tie against Porto, but while Ivan Marcano is bullish about his side’s prospects, he is not taking anything for granted against the Portuguese.
“I believe we can repeat our exploits in the Champions League last season. It will be difficult, but we’ll try. Porto are the first step,” the defender, who moved to the Italian capital from Tuesday’s opponents in the summer, said.
“Some fans may consider Porto to be the weakest out of the teams remaining, but they are a great side. They showed that in the group stage by claiming top spot and going unbeaten.”
Porto boss Sergio Conceicao was once a player with Lazio, but unlike Marcano he is cool over the prospect of this tie.
“There are no special feelings on my part. The only feeling for me is being able to wear the Porto badge on my chest,” he said.
“It thrills me to be able to return to Rome and relive the unique moments I shared with the …read more
Source:: Daily times