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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 hopes his side will not be intimidated by Barcelona
Rudi Garcia hopes his side will not be intimidated by Barcelona ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Rudi Garcia's Roma eager to take points from European champions
  • Barcelona coach Luis Enrique returns to the club he managed in 2011/12
  • Azulgrana have won just one of their last six games in Italy
  • Roma captain Francesco Totti is a goal away from 300 for the Giallorossi
  • Barcelona defeated Roma 3-0 in a friendly last month

Possible lineups
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)

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.

See how Barcelona won 2015 crown

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.


Weekend results
Frosinone 0-2 Roma (Falqué 44, Iturbe 90+3 )
Goals from Iago Falqué and Juan Manuel Iturbe earned Roma their second successive Serie A victory.

Atlético Madrid 1-2 Barcelona (Torres 51; Neymar 55, Messi 77)
Luis Enrique's men fell behind to Fernando Torres's goal just after the break but Neymar was quick to equalise before Lionel Messi struck the winner having started on the bench.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)*
Roma: WWD
Barcelona: WWWW

*This season only

Reporter's view: Ben Gladwell (@UEFAcomBenG)
Roma began last season's campaign with a 5-1 triumph over CSKA Moskva, but few expect a repeat. Even Garcia has suggested it will require a miracle to beat the holders. "They do happen in football, though," he said.

Did you know?
Luis Enrique was in the Barcelona side and Totti wore the Roma armband when the clubs met in 2001/02; find out what happened in our extensive match background.

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