Roma manager Eusebio di Francesco is demanding his side show more consistency ahead of the club’s Champions League Round of 16 second leg tie against Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Italian side took the lead against Shakhtar in Kharkiv last month when Cengiz Ünder struck his first Champions League goal of his career shortly before half time.
However Shakhtar reacted well, with Argentine striker Facundo Ferreyra cancelling out the opener shortly after the restart, and Manchester City linked midfielder Fred rounded off the victory with a free-kick.
Di Francesco launched a furious attack on his players at full-time, frustrated that they were turned over so easily, claiming that “[he] should have substituted half of them!”
Ahead of their clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night, the Italian claimed that his side has the quality to get the job done, they just need to show consistency. In his pre-match press conference, he said;
“We will only get through to the quarter-finals if we produce a great collective performance. We have a top striker in Edin Džeko who is capable of scoring and supplying key assists like he did in the away leg.
“If tomorrow we can repeat the performance we put in against Napoli, then I think that will be a significant step forward for us. Especially from a mental standpoint, it will show we have found a bit more consistency.”
Roma could have Gregoire Defrel available for selection with the Frenchman having missed the last month through injury. Regardless, Džeko is expected to once again lead the line for the home side, with the Bosnia and Herzegovina captain desperate to add to his Champions League goal tally this season.
Defender Rick Karsdorp is also still missing for the capital side with a long-term injury, and is not expected to return until next month at the earliest.
Paulo Fonseca will be missing defender Sergiy Kryvtsov from his squad, as he was forced off in the first leg with an injury and hasn’t recovered quick enough. Ivan Ordets, who replaced him in that game, will likely deputise.
Ferryera has been in scintillating form for the Ukrainian Premier League champions this season, and is expected to continue to lead the line. The 26-year old has scored an impressive 11 goals in his last 10 games for the club.
Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk kicks off at 7:45pm this evening, and will be shown live on BT Sport 3.