Ranieri: It's 50-50 against Pana

BY foxsports • February 24, 2010

Roma coach Claudio Ranieri has given his team a "50-50" chance of getting through their Europa League last 32 tie with Panathinaikos.

The Serie A outfit host the Greek leaders on Thursday looking to overturn a 3-2 loss in the opening leg in Athens.

"We have a 50% chance of progressing to the next round," said Ranieri.

"Panathinaikos will complicate our lives. They will wait for us and then hit us with counter-attacks. Tomorrow we face a very difficult encounter but we are ready."

Ranieri has urged the Roma faithful to pack the Stadio Olimpico as they aim to continue their European adventure.

"I hope we will see more fans at the stadium than with respect to our previous European games," said Ranieri.

"Their support is vital for us and we need them there."

The Giallorossi go into the encounter in buoyant mood. Last Sunday's 1-0 win over Catania marked their seventh successive victory in the league and lifted them to second in the standings, five points behind league leaders Inter Milan.

With strikers Francesco Totti and Luca Toni still sidelined through injury, Ranieri will be hoping Mirko Vucinic can maintain his goalscoring form. Vucinic has netted twice in his team's last two games and will lead Roma's attack tomorrow.

Pana travel to the Italian capital on the back of a 2-1 loss to PAOK last weekend that saw their lead at the top of the Greek Super League cut to two points.

French striker Djibril Cisse, who struck the winner against Roma, knows his side still have a lot of work to do before they can celebrate.

"It was a very important victory," he said. "But our job is not done. We have a difficult game ahead at the Stadio Olimpico."

Despite Roma having two away goals in their favour, Cisse is optimistic his team can get the job done.

"We are not anxious, even though Roma are very strong at home," he said.

"We are also a strong away team and we will go there looking to get through to the next round."

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