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Roma well placed as finishing line approaches

Both qualifying places remain up for grabs in Group A but leaders AS Roma are in pole position and a draw will ensure that they progress to the knockout rounds; FC Girondins de Bordeaux will do the same if they win.

Roma got the better of Bordeaux in their first meeting of the group stage
Roma got the better of Bordeaux in their first meeting of the group stage ©Getty Images

Group A is the only section in which both qualifying places have still to be decided and even though AS Roma go into the final fixture with a single-point advantage at the top, they know they will probably have to avoid defeat in the Stadio Olimpico to ensure they go through to the knockout rounds. For FC Girondins de Bordeaux the situation is clear: they have to win or their European adventure will continue in the UEFA Cup as third-placed finishers.

• The Italian side progressed to their elevated position thanks to a clinical 3-1 victory in Transylvania which also ended CFR 1907 Cluj's hopes of progressing. The damage was done inside the opening 23 minutes. Matteo Brighi struck the opener, his first UEFA Champions League goal, before Francesco Totti doubled the lead with a free-kick. Yssouf Koné headed in from close range for the home team but Brighi struck again after 64 minutes to put the result beyond doubt.

• The game between these teams in France also ended in a 3-1 Roma victory. Bordeaux had taken the lead thanks to Yoann Gourcuff but after Henrique's 36th-minute dismissal, Roma turned the contest around with two strikes in seven minutes before substitute Júlio Baptista completed the victory with his second goal late on.

• Roma's previous two home matches in the section have been contrasting affairs, starting with a surprise 2-1 defeat by CFR on 16 September which came after Christian Panucci's early goal had edged the hosts ahead.

• Then on Matchday 4 Roma turned the tables on a Chelsea FC team who had defeated them in London two weeks before thanks to John Terry's late header. In the Stadio Olimpico return Luciano Spalletti's charges ran out 3-1 winners to put real momentum behind their qualifying prospects. Former Chelsea defender Panucci scored again to get the ball rolling and with two stunning Mirko Vučinić strikes, Roma established an unassailable lead.

• Victory would enable the Giallorossi to finish as sectionwinners, as would a draw if Chelsea fail to win at home to CFR. Taking part in the UEFA Champions League for the sixth time in eight seasons, Roma have never finished top of the group but have qualified for the next phase in all but one of their previous campaigns.

• Roma and Bordeaux met in the 1990/91 UEFA Cup third round and it resulted in a resounding victory for the Italian side, a 5-0 home win in the first leg setting up a 7-0 aggregate triumph. The Giallorossi's three other home games with French opponents all ended in draws, the most recent being the 0-0 stalemate against Olympique Lyonnais in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League first knockout round. They also played out a scoreless 90 minutes at home to AS Monaco FC in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals – the away leg produced their one and only defeat against a French side. Their full record is P8 W4 D3 L1.

• Bordeaux have only tackled Serie A opponents twice previously in the European Champion Clubs' Cup. They came off second best to eventual winners Juventus in the 1984/85 semi-final, losing 3-0 in the away leg which meant their 2-0 home triumph was not enough to take them through. In the 1999/00 second group stage Bordeaux drew 3-3 at ACF Fiorentina and in a total of 13 games against Italian opponents have recorded three victories – all at home – with three draws and seven losses.

• After defeat in their first two games, Bordeaux did not look as if they would arrive at Matchday 6 still in with a chance of qualifying for the next stage. Their home reverse against Roma had been preceded by a 4-0 loss in London against Chelsea and going into the first of the two fixtures with CFR they had still to put a point on the board.

• Laurent Blanc's team then found their form with a 1-0 win against their Romanian visitors thanks to an own goal by opposing captain Cadú.

• Bordeaux built on that victory two weeks later with a second success against CFR. Gourcuff pounced after just six minutes and although Dani swiftly equalised, Wendel's 38th-minute free-kick restored the visitors' advantage and ulimately secured victory.

• In a pulsating contest at Stade Chaban-Delmas on 26 November, Nicolas Anelka opened the scoring for Chelsea yet the Ligue 1 outfit clinched the point they deserved on 83 minutes when stand-in skipper Alou Diarra met Gourcuff's corner with a firm near-post header.

• Bordeaux coach Blanc was part of France's victorious team at UEFA EURO 2000™, beating Italy 2-1 in the final. Totti was in the opposing lineup and Vincenzo Montella appeared as a substitute.

• As a player with Olympique de Marseille, Blanc reached the 1998/99 UEFA Cup final losing to an Italian side, Parma FC. In the semi-final, against more Serie A opposition in Bologna FC, it was Blanc's penalty with three minutes remaining that earned Marseille a 1-1 draw and ensured they went through on away goals.

• Roma defender Panucci and Blanc were team-mates at FC Internazionale Milano for the 1999/00 season while the former scored three goals in 14 Ligue 1 appearance while on loan at AS Monaco FC in 2001.

• Gourcuff and Roma forward Jérémy Menez were team-mates in France's Under-21 side.

• The draw for the UEFA Champions League first knockout round will take place at 12.00CET on Friday 19 December at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Group winners will be paired against runners-up from different sections with the second-placed teams playing the first leg at home. Clubs from the same associations cannot be drawn together.