By Ian S. Palmer
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Spanish La Liga giants Real Madrid heads home to the Bernabeu in Spain this Tuesday, March 8 to take on Italian Serie A side AS Roma in the second game of a home and away round-of-16 European Champions tie. Real Madrid has the upper hand after downing the hosts 2-0 at the Olimpico Stadium in Rome on February 17. This is the Champions League managerial debut for new Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane of France. Zidane took over from the fired Rafael Benitez several weeks ago. Each team has reported several injuries with Roma expected to be missing Capradossi and De Rossi while Real Madrid will likely be without Abner, Benzema, Arbeloa, Kroos and Modric.
Real Madrid vs AS Roma – bet365 Soccer BETTING LINE:
- bet365 currently lists Real Madrid as the favorites to win the 90-minute match at 4/11 with Roma 7/1 and a draw at 15/5
Real Madrid vs AS Roma – Head to Head:
- The two teams have faced each other nine times now in European competition. Madrid has five wins to their name while Roma has three and there has been one draw. The last time they met was in the round of 16 in the 2007/08 Champions League. Roma won both legs by a score of 2-1. They met in the 2001/02 group stage with Madrid winning 2-1 in Rome and drawing 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. They also met in the 2002/03 group stage with Madrid winning 3-0 in Rome and Roma winning 1-0 in Madrid. In the 2004/05 group stage, Madrid downed Roma 4-2 in Spain and won 3-0 in Italy.
Real Madrid has struggled against Italian opposition and has been beaten in eight of their past 11 showdowns with them. The club currently sits in third place in the Spanish standings with 60 points from 18 wins, six draws and four losses. They’ve scored a league-high 81 goals and allowed 27 against. Real was one point behind second-place Atletico Madrid on March 5 and eight behind league-leading and reigning champions Barcelona. They were 7-1 home winners in their last league match on Saturday against Celta Vigo. Real Madrid won Group A in the group stage with 16 points from five wins and a draw with 19 goals for and three against. Other clubs in the group were Paris Saint Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk and Malmo.
Roma also have a new manager in Luciano Spalletti as he replaced Rudi Garcia. His team finished the group stage as runners up in Group E with just six points from one win, three draws and two losses. They scored 11 goals and conceded 16. Barcelona won the group while Bayer Leverkusen placed third and BATE Borisov finished last. In this year’s Serie A, Roma is currently sitting in third place in the 20-team league. They have 56 points from 16 wins, eight draws and four defeats and have won three in a row since meeting Real three weeks ago. They’ve scored 59 goals and allowed 29 against and were five points behind league-leading Juventus, the reigning champions and Napoli as of March 5.
Roma hasn’t made it to the quarter-finals since 2008 and incredibly have reached the round of 16 by winning just one game in the group stage. They also allowed the most goals against of any team that advanced by conceding 16. Overall, they have six wins at home against Spanish clubs with a draw and five losses. They’ve won a pair of two-legged series against Spanish teams and lost two. Real Madrid is hoping to reach the quarter-finals for a sixth straight season and to be crowned champions of Europe for the 11th time. They were one of just two clubs to go undefeated in this year’s group stage and won two and drew one on the road. Madrid is winless in their last eight trips to Italy with four defeats and four draws. They’ve also lost eight consecutive two-legged knockout series against Italian opposition.
Madrid’s last series victory over an Italian club came back in 1987/88 when they downed Napoli 3-1 on aggregate. Roma has been beaten just once in their past 17 fixtures in all competitions. The team has added Stephan El Shaarawy, Ervin Zukanovic and Diego Perotti to its squad and has released Juan Iturbe and Gervinho. Real Madrid has added Mariano Diaz Mejia, to the squad along with Jose Carlos Lazo, Philipp Lienhart and Alvaro Tejero Sacristan and has released Abner and Denis Cheryshev. Roma needs to win this match 2-0 to force extra time while any other two-goal win or higher will see them advance.