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Roma keen to avoid Dynamo repeat

AS Roma will aim to dispel the memory of FC Dynamo Kyiv's last visit to the Italian capital when the sides meet at the Stadio Olimpico on Matchday 1.

AS Roma will be aiming to dispel the unhappy memory of FC Dynamo Kyiv's last visit to the Italian capital when the sides meet at the Stadio Olimpico in their opening Group F encounter. When they faced the Ukrainian champions on Matchday 1 of the 2004/05 campaign, the game lasted only 45 minutes before it was abandoned.

• Dynamo, who had been leading through a Goran Gavrančić free-kick when a missile was thrown at referee Anders Frisk, were subsequently awarded a 3-0 win. Roma, who had lost Philippe Mexes to a red card moments before half-time, never recovered and ended up bottom of their group with just one point. In what is expected to prove a tightly contested group, neither side will want to open with a similarly heavy loss this time round.

• Second in Serie A last term, Roma enjoyed their best European campaign for 23 years in 2006/07 by reaching the quarter-finals. If their hopes crumbled in humiliating fashion with a 7-1 loss at Manchester United FC - their heaviest in continental competition - they had impressed up to that point, notably in their 2-0 aggregate win over Olympique Lyonnais in the first knockout round.

• Anatoliy Demyanenko's Dynamo, by contrast, endured their worst UEFA Champions League group stage performance last term. They made the worst possible start with a 4-1 home defeat by Steaua Bucuresti and finished bottom of their group with just two points. For Dynamo it was a sixth failed attempt to progress from the group stage since they reached the last 16 in 1999/00.

• They secured their place in the group stage this season by defeating FK Sarajevo of Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-0 on aggregate in the third qualifying round. Maksim Shatskikh earned them a 1-0 away win in the first leg before they prevailed 3-0 in the return through Ismaël Bangoura's early strike, Semjon Milošević's own goal and Serhiy Rebrov's late penalty.

• Roma have lost three of four previous matches against Ukrainian opposition. After that 3-0 home defeat by Dynamo in September 2004, they also lost the return in Kiev 2-0. Last season, meanwhile, the Giallorossi suffered a 1-0 reverse at FC Shakhtar Donetsk.

• A more positive omen for the Italian side was the 4-0 victory over Shakhtar with which they opened their group stage programme last September. Taddei, Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi and David Pizarro all struck during a 23-minute goal spree in the final quarter.

• Dynamo have recorded only one win on Italian soil – the default win over Roma in 2004 – with their other visits yielding two draws and four defeats.

• Roma pair Totti and Simone Perrotta lined up against Dynamo's Olexandr Shovkovskiy, Andriy Nesmachniy, Oleh Gusev, Vladyslav Vaschuk and Artem Milevskiy in the 2006 FIFA World Cup quarter-final between Italy and Ukraine. Italy won the match 3-0.

• Perrotta, along with Christian Panucci and substitute Alberto Aquilani, also played against Shovkovskiy, Gusev and Milevskiy in Italy's 2-1 win in Kiev last Wednesday in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying. Rotan was an unused subsitute.