Can Roma Do It?

Roma go into this game without Francesco Totti and this may not be as bad a situation as some people might think for the simple reason that Totti hardly plays well against big sides in big matches.

On the other hand, his influence on the side cannot be discounted especially at home and although he may not be a big factor physically, psychologically it might be a blow for Roma.

A bigger miss for me is the powerful running of Simone Perrotta that would be missed tonight as he is suspended for this tie and he was badly missed we=hen Roma was trounced last season as he also missed that game due to suspension.

I would be very surprised if Roma get through this tie because Italian teams, AC Milan apart, of recent years seem to have problems with the English style of play especially in midfield.

Italian teams always seem to want to win matches with minimum effort and though they are technically superior, they seem to not put the necessary effort in some games.

Technically Roma can match United but what they cannot match them with is the speed and aggression that players like Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo bring to the pitch. This is 1 of the reasons that a Roma victory over 2 legs is unlikely.

Roma have been praised for their 2-legged victory over Real Madrid but in the 2 legs, they were very lucky because in the 1st leg they could have been out of sight if not for some profligate finishing by the Spanish side.

By the 2nd leg, Real had a lot of key players out and Roma still rode their luck even if at the end of the match they played reasonably well. Roma have problem areas as far as I am concerned as I still do not think they have a top class goalkeeper.

Alexander Doni is a good goalkeeper but he is not top notch and he is extremely suspect in the air. He is also the only goalkeeper that I can recall that gets injured whenever he makes a good save and that is not encouraging.

They have problems in midfield because they do not have a bona fide holding midfielder as most of their midfielders are ball passing players with great technical ability but not enough steel. David Pizarro is a very big weak link for me as he is 1 of those players that I would term as luxurious.

I had never understood why players like Roberto Baggio or Gianfranco Zola were termed luxurious players as they can produce a moment of magic to get you a goal at any time but Pizarro and Guti in my opinion can be termed luxurious as they are only useful if their teams are playing well.

They do not help defensively and Pizarro in particular is not that useful in the attacking 3rd especially when he is not playing well. He gives the ball away far too cheaply and against Manchester United, that could be fatal.

Roma are not that bad at the back if Juan and Philip Mexes are in the starting line-up but they are not as solid as United and in attack, they could have done with more options than Totti and Mirko Vucinic.

Unless Roma play without fear and that has to come from manager Luciano Spalletti, who does not always get it right tactically, because of his being too cautious, and they take their chances when they come their way especially in the 1st leg then I do not see them going through.

There is no doubt that they are good enough to beat United but they have to believe that they can do it and I do not believe that they do because like most Italian teams away from home, they tend to want to avoid defeat more than going all out to win.

Camisetas del Sassuolo