Roma can overcome a host of injuries to put right a poor record in England and prove to their Champions League rivals that “their assessment of us is wrong”, according to coach Rudi Garcia.
The Scudetto chasers have won all five of their Serie A games so far this season and demolished CSKA Moscow 5-1 in their opening Group E game.
Garcia is convinced the pressure will be on hosts Manchester City to get their campaign up and running on Tuesday and feels his players can relax.
He said: “We have started the season well and the three points against CSKA give us a chance to play without too much pressure. We have everything to gain. That’s also because after the draw everyone had already written this one off as a defeat for us. They have everything to lose.”
The Romans have lost on all five previous visits to England and were famously thrashed 7-1 by Manchester United in 2007. They will definitely be missing Daniele De Rossi (thigh), Davide Astori (knee), Leandro Castan (neck) and Kevin Strootman (knee) for the Etihad Stadium clash, while Juan Manuel Iturbe (thigh) and Morgan De Sanctis
(fatigue) are doubtful.
Garcia is expecting his players to relish their underdog status against the Premier League champions and will urge them to take the game to Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
He added: “Let’s not forget that we were in the fourth pot for the draw, which means we’re outsiders – especially against the English and German champions.
“This role motivates us to show that they maybe got their assessment of us wrong. It will bring out our pride. We have to be assertive and not just spectators. It will be tough, but we’ll make things difficult for Manchester City.”
Manchester City are currently priced 1.68 in the match betting and the draw outcome is quoted 3.85. Roma are available to back in the 90 minutes market at 5.13.