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United seek six of the best in Rome

Manchester United FC can become only the fourth team to win all six games in a UEFA Champions League group stage if they beat AS Roma in the Italian capital.

Wayne Rooney was the difference when the sides met at Old Trafford
Wayne Rooney was the difference when the sides met at Old Trafford ©Getty Images

Eight months after welcoming Manchester United FC to the Stadio Olimpico in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, AS Roma host Sir Alex Ferguson's team again but this time the circumstances are markedly more relaxed.

• Where there was a semi-final place at stake back in April, now there is only pride to play for given United and Roma have already secured their progress to the last 16. Moreover, by beating Sporting Clube de Portugal 2-1 on Matchday 5, United sealed first place in Group F, Cristiano Ronaldo's 92nd-minute winner giving his team an unassailable five-point advantage over Roma.

• The Italian side booked their place in the first knockout round for the second successive season by winning 4-1 at FC Dynamo Kyiv on the same night. Christian Panucci, Ludovic Giuly and Mirko Vučinić (2) were the scorers for Luciano Spalletti's team.

• The only team in the group stage with maximum points from five games, United would become only the fourth side in UEFA Champions League history to win all six games in a group stage should they prevail in Rome. FC Barcelona achieved the feat en route to the last 16 in 2002/03, FC Spartak Moskva went out in the quarter-finals in 1995/96 having claimed six in six and AC Milan did the same to reach the 1992/93 final, which they lost.

• It finished 2-1 to Roma when the teams met in the first leg of last term's UEFA Champions League quarter-final on 4 April, goals from Taddei and Vučinić sandwiching Wayne Rooney's strike for United. Nobody in either camp needs reminding what happened next, United overturning that deficit with a 7-1 rout in the return.

• The English champions were also winners when the teams met at Old Trafford on Matchday 2, Rooney scoring the only goal after 70 minutes.

• That was the only reverse Roma have suffered so far in this season's campaign, which has also brought home victories over Dynamo (2-0) and Sporting (2-1) and a 2-2 draw at Sporting.

• United's 2-1 victory over Sporting last time out – Carlos Tévez and Ronaldo's goals overturning Abel's first-half opener – means they have won five games in the group stage for the first time since the 2003/04 campaign. Besides the aforementioned home successes against Roma and Sporting, they beat Sporting 1-0 in Lisbon on Matchday 1 and Dynamo both at home (4-0) and away (4-2).

• Roma's nine previous home encounters against English opponents have produced five wins, two draws and two defeats.

• United have traditionally enjoyed little success on their travels to Italy, losing ten and winning just two of 13 previous matches. It took them eight attempts to record an away victory against Italian opposition – although they certainly broke their duck in style by defeating Juventus 3-2 in the 1999 UEFA Champions League semi-final.

• Their most recent trip to Italy was to face AC Milan in last season's semi-final second leg where their 3-2 first-leg lead was undone by a 3-0 defeat.

• Roma defenders Christian Panucci and Matteo Ferrari had short spells in England with Chelsea FC and Everton FC respectively. Panucci spent part of 2000/01 on loan at Chelsea while Ferrari was at Everton for the 2005/06 campaign.

• United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar played in Serie A between 1999 and 2001 with Juventus, while Mikaël Silvestre spent the 1998/99 campaign at FC Internazionale Milano. His compatriot Patrice Evra also played in Italy in the late 1990s for Marsala Calcio and Monza Calcio but never appeared in the top flight.