CITY x ROMA — ICC Preview

Manchester City will face off against AS Roma tonight at the
MCG in front of another packed crowd. 

Could we be in store for another classic between these two
sides?

Last season Roma shocked the Citizens, earning a draw away
from home in the Champions League group stage.

The return fixture saw Manchester City produce one of their
greatest performances of the season. The Sky Blues defeated Roma in the Stadio
Olimpico to advance to the round of 16.

AS ROMA:

AS Roma look to continue winning ways, after defeating Spanish giants Real Madrid on Saturday night.

Roma coach Rudi Garcia remains positive about their winning temperament, after his side held off Madrid in a penalty shoot-out after 90 minutes.

“We always play to win, that’s what I told my players
before the Real Madrid game. We didn’t settle for the draw, we won the
penalty shoot out because you need to have this winning culture and
mentality.”

Daniele De Rossi was overwhelmed with the outpouring support
for the club, unaware of the strong following for his side in Australia.

“Roma is an important club but it’s not Real Madrid, so its incredible to see
how much interest there is in players who are not so well known. I have never
been in this country but I am happy to be here.“

WHO TO WATCH OUT FOR?

FRANCESCO TOTTI: 

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At 38 years of age, Totti still moves like a youngster in his prime. The one
club man is a Roma legend, and regarded as one of their greatest ever
players. Totti has 243 Serie A goals to his name and totals as the second
highest goal scorer in the leagues history.

The match-up against City sparks a great memory for Totti, after
he became the oldest Champions League goal scorer against Manchester City at
Etihad Stadium.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP:

(4,3,3) De Sanctis; Maicon, Yanga-Mbiwa, Castan,
Cole; Ucan, De Rossi, Nainggolan; Falque, Totti, Gervinho

MANCHESTER CITY:

The Sky Blues have no doubt been the busiest of all the
touring sides in Australia this winter.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini has taken no prisoners this pre-season, treating
his players to a gruelling training camp on the Gold Coast last week.

A flurry of big name signings this transfer window is a result of a disappointing season, which saw Pellegrini on the chopping board.

In the past fortnight, City has successfully signed Raheem
Sterling and Fabian Delph from Liverpool and Aston Villa for a combined
fee of £60m.

The Citizens defeated Adelaide United 1-0 followed by a win
over their sister club Melbourne City 1-0 in an entertaining Gold Coast
friendly.

Pellegrini has confirmed that mega signing Raheem Sterling will
be unveiled in Blue for the first time, after controversially leaving Liverpool
over the summer transfer window.

“I think Raheem worked with Liverpool for three days and so
he will play some minutes. I know him (Sterling). I’ve seen him play against us
for the last two seasons, but I think it’s important for him to try and have
minutes with our team as soon as he can”, said Pellegrini.

Returning internationals Joe Hart, David Silva and Edin
Dzeko could all play some minutes tonight, which will be a delight for the fans.

DANGER MAN: 


YAYA TOURE

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The 32 year old will have a point to prove this season after
battling much of last season with niggling injuries. Toure will no doubt be
looking to stamp his regular spot in the side. A
positive pre-season performance is crucial more than ever for the Ivorian,
after City’s latest activity in the transfer window.

POSSIBLE STARTING LINEUP:

(4-2-3-1) Hart; Kolarov, Kompany, Mangala, Zabaleta; Touré, Fernandinho; Nasri, Sterling, Agüero; Džeko

Words by Ari Charilaou. KO – 8pm AEST MCG. 

THE TURF