AS Roma end their four-year UEFA Champions League exile with a Group E home fixture against a PFC CSKA Mosvka side eager to improve on last season's early exit.
Article top media content
Back in the UEFA Champions League after a three-year break, AS Roma kick off with a Group E home fixture against a PFC CSKA Moskva side eager to better their early departure from the competition last time out.
• Roma defeated CSKA on away goals in the first round of the 1991/92 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. The Giallorossi won 2-1 in Moscow on 18 September 1991 and survived a 1-0 home defeat in the second leg.
• The lineups for that first encounter in Rome were:
Roma: Cervone, Tempestilli, Pellegrini, Aldair, Carboni, Nela, Hässler, Di Mauro, Giannini (Garzya 64), Völler, Rizzitelli.
CSKA: Kharin, Kuznetsov, Bystrov, Fokin, Kolesnikov (Sergeev 82), Kolotovkin, Korneev (Masalitin 68), Broshin, Galyamin, Tatarchuk, Dmitriev.
• Second in Serie A last season, Roma are competing in the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2010/11, when they reached the round of 16.
• They did not play any European football in either of the last two seasons. In 2011/12 they lost to ŠK Slovan Bratislava in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
• Their record against Russian opponents is W5 D0 L1.
• Leonid Slutski's team lost all three away games in last term's group stage – at FC Bayern München (3-0), Manchester City FC (5-2) and FC Viktoria Plzeň (2-1).
• They have won on their last two trips to Italy – at FC Internazionale Milano in the 2011/12 group stage (2-1) and at US Città di Palermo in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage (3-0). Seydou Doumbia scored in both matches, including a double in Palermo.
• Defender Vasili Berezutski scored in that 2011 win at San Siro and also in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup semi-final home victory against Parma FC.
• CSKA's overall record in Italy is W3 D1 L3.
• As LOSC Lille coach, Rudi Garcia faced CSKA in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League, losing a two-goal lead in a 2-2 home draw on matchday one, when Doumbia scored twice. LOSC won 2-0 in Moscow – with the help of a Berezutski own goal – but CSKA still finished second in the group while the Dogues were bottom.
• Francesco Totti hit the winner in Roma's 2-1 home victory against Sergei Ignashevich's FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the 2001/02 group stage. The pair met again in the Moscow return, Roma prevailing 1-0.
• With Inter, Maicon beat CSKA home and away (both 1-0) in the 2009/10 quarter-finals. He also played in a 4-2 home win in the 2007/08 group stage.
• Miralem Pjanić helped Bosnia and Herzegovina defeat Doumbia's Ivory Coast 2-1 in a pre-FIFA World Cup friendly in May.
• Roman Eremenko has played in Italy for Udinese Calcio and AC Siena.
• When Zoran Tošić left FK Partizan for Manchester United FC in 2009, Adem Ljajić was reported to be following him to Old Trafford as part of the deal but Ljajić’s move eventually broke down. Other player links are Gervinho and Doumbia (Ivory Coast) and Eremenko and Morgan De Sanctis (Udinese).
• Daniele De Rossi is serving a one-match UEFA suspension.
• Kostas Manolas, Seydou Keita, Davide Astori, Ashley Cole and Juan Iturbe made their Roma debuts as the Giallorossi started the Serie A season with a 2-0 home victory over ACF Fiorentina on 30 August.
• Federico Balzaretti, 32, has not played since 10 November 2013 and was omitted from Roma's UEFA Champions League list. He said at the beginning of September that his pelvic injury "might end my career".
• Kevin Strootman is expected to return to action in November after the left knee injury he sustained against SSC Napoli on 9 March.
• A club record 16 Roma players were on international duty at the start of the month.
• De Rossi converted a penalty in Italy's 2-0 friendly win against the Netherlands on 4 September – bringing to 100 the number of Azzurri goals scored by Roma players.
• Gervinho scored the winner in the Ivory Coast's 2-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying victory over Sierra Leone on 6 September.
• Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernbloom both begin three-game bans on matchday one.
• Roman Eremenko has scored two goals in as many appearances since arriving from FC Rubin Kazan this summer, including Saturday's winner against FC Arsenal Tula.
• Bebars Natcho was also on target on Saturday (from the penalty spot) and has scored five goals in four appearances since joining CSKA. He hit a hat-trick in the 6-0 home victory over FC Rostov on 31 August.
• CSKA began the season with four successive wins, their best start to a campaign since 2002. They kicked off with a 3-1 victory over nine-man FC Rostov in the Russian Super Cup.
• CSKA lost to FC Spartak Moskva and FC Rubin Kazan in August, their first back-to-back defeats in 2014.
• Rasmus Elm (stomach) and Georgi Schennikov (ankle) are yet to play this season because of injuries.
• Vitinho, who has scored once in five substitute appearances for CSKA this season, has been ruled out until November after suffering an ankle injury in action for Brazil U23s against Oman earlier this month.
• Sergei Ignashevich (Russia 4-0 Azerbaijan, 3 September), Roman Eremenko (Finland 3-1 v Faroe Islands, 7 September) and Seydou Doumbia (Ivory Coast 2-1 Sierra Leone, 6 September) were all on target during the recent international break.