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Preview: Manchester City vs. Roma

Sports Mole looks ahead to Manchester City's home Champions League encounter against Italian outfit Roma at the Etihad Stadium.

In recent seasons, Serie A has been dominated by Juventus. The Old Lady has won the last three titles, but with five matches played this season, their 100% winning record has been matched by Roma.

Rudi Garcia's side also kicked their Champions League campaign off with a resounding 5-1 victory over Russian side CSKA Moscow in the Italian capital earlier this month.

Tomorrow, they will take on a Manchester City side at the Etihad Stadium that were beaten 1-0 by 2012 winners Bayern Munich. With the Germans likely to win the group, Roma and City are expected to battle it out for the second qualification spot, meaning that a defeat will put six points between the English champions and their visitors.

City manager Manuel Pellegrini dropped goalkeeper Joe Hart at the weekend, but reports have claimed that the England number one will return to the starting lineup at the expense of Willy Caballero for the visit of the Giallorossi.

Veteran midfielder Frank Lampard has been in positive goalscoring form of late, but he is likely to start among the substitutes again, while Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero will continue their partnership up front. Full-back Pablo Zabaleta is also available for selection after his one-match suspension, but Samir Nasri is sidelined with a groin problem.

Roma also have injury concerns of their own, most notably over midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who is a doubt with a calf knock. Defender Davide Astori has also been ruled out with a knee ligament problem.

The Italians have made 14 previous visits to England, but they have won on just one occasion. They were once famously thrashed 7-1 at Old Trafford by City's rivals Manchester United in 2007.

Recent form

Man City: LDLDWW

Roma: WWWWWW

Possible starting lineups

Man City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Kolarov; Milner, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva; Aguero, Dzeko

Roma: De Sanctis; Cole, Manolas, Yanga-Mbiwa, Maicon; Keita, Nainggolan; Pjanic, Totti, Gervinho; Destro

Sports Mole says: 1-0


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Joe Hart of England looks on fron the bench prior to the international friendly match between England and Chile at Wembley Stadium on November 15, 2013
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