Roma faces Bayern, eyes place in last 16

After bouncing back from a horrendous start to the season, AS

Roma can qualify for the next round of the Champions League on

Tuesday with a win over Bayern Munich and a helping hand from CFR


Roma needs to beat Bayern and hope the other Group E match

between FC Basel and Cluj ends in a draw.

After failing to win any of its first four games in Serie A,

Roma is now unbeaten in its last seven matches in the Italian

league. However, the Giallorossi have lost all three of their

meetings with Bayern, going down 2-0 in September to last season’s

runner-up and also losing twice in the 1985 Cup Winners’ Cup


”In the first game, we didn’t play well tactically,” Roma

coach Claudio Ranieri said. ”We contained them but our

counterattack wasn’t working because we weren’t in form. Now it’s


Bayern has already advanced but the four-time champion still has

something to play for since it hasn’t won the group yet.

”I have to decide what makes sense,” coach Louis van Gaal said

of the possibility of resting some regulars.

Bayern leads the group with a perfect 12 points from four games,

Roma is next with six points and Cluj and Basel have three


The Basel-Cluj game could determine which side finishes third in

the group and moves on to the Europa League.

Cluj beat Basel 2-1 in September and the Swiss side is seeking

to avoid a repeat of its fate two years ago, when it failed to pick

up a single point at home.

In Roma’s attack, Mirko Vucinic was rested for a 2-0 win over

Udinese on Saturday and will probably start Tuesday, meaning

captain Francesco Totti or Marco Borriello could be benched.

”It’s not a problem, it’s an advantage,” said Borriello, who

has scored eight goals in 16 matches in all competitions this

season. ”We’ve got a great squad.”

Forward Jeremy Menez, who scored one and set up another goal for

Borriello against Udinese, appears certain to keep his place in the


”Right now he’s a fixed starter,” Ranieri said. ”He’s in

great form and when he turns it on the team makes a jump up in


Juan, David Pizarro and Adriano have each returned from injury

and midfielder Daniele De Rossi is expected back against Bayern

after sitting out over the weekend with a groin problem.

Bayern’s injury situation has improved, with Franck Ribery

likely to play. But captain Mark van Bommel is still out, along

with Arjen Robben, Ivica Olic, Holger Badstuber and Miroslav Klose.

Also, Bastian Schweinsteiger is suspended for the match at the

Stadio Olimpico.

Bayern has all but given up hopes of defending the Bundesliga

title after a 1-1 draw in Leverkusen on Saturday left Van Gaal’s

team 14 points behind leader Borussia Dortmund.

”No need to talk about the championship when we are so far

behind,” sport director Christian Nerlinger said.

That means Bayern is focusing on the Champions League.

Bayern is unbeaten in its last nine matches in all competitions,

winning six. Mario Gomez has scored 12 goals during that run,

including two hat tricks.

AP Sports Writer Nesha Starcevic contributed to this report from

Frankfurt, Germany.