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Roma eager to stand up to Barcelona onslaught

“If they aren’t the best in the world, they are certainly among the best,” said Rudi Garcia, his Roma side facing the unenviable task of defying holders Barcelona.


Rudi Garcia, Roma coach
Barcelona are defending European champions. If they aren’t the best in the world, they are certainly among the best. We’ll play with humility and ambition. We want to qualify, and this is the first of six games in which we will do our very best to get points.

We will have to play as a team, in defence and attack. We will give it everything and work for each other, and use the ball properly when we attack. Lionel Messi? He is one of the best players in the world – probably the best.

Luis Enrique, Barcelona coach
I’m back in Rome with a few more years on the clock, but also more experience. Rome is a city I have only positive memories of. For me it will be a special game, but that doesn’t matter because the most important thing is that we make a winning start to this UEFA Champions League season.

Last month’s Joan Gamper Trophy game is no guide to what will happen. I expect a Roma side like the one I saw in Serie A against Juventus [Roma’s 2-1 home win in August] – a strong team that knows how to press, knows how to play the ball and has players of great quality, able to create dangerous situations at any time.

Possible Lineups

Roma: Szczęsny; Florenzi, Rüdiger, Manolas, Digne; Nainggolan, De Rossi, Keita; Salah, Džeko, Falqué.
Out: Pjanić (ankle), Capradossi (knee)
Doubtful: Rüdiger (unspecified), Leandro Castán (unfit)

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba; Iniesta, Busquets, Rakitić; Neymar, Messi, Suárez.
Out: Bravo (calf), Vermaelen (calf), Alves (muscle), Douglas (hamstring)


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