Roma eye Bayern knock-out blow

Published Nov. 22, 2010 7:16 a.m. ET

A home victory and a draw in the other Group E game between Basle and CFR Cluj in Switzerland would see the Italians progress in second place with a game to spare. Bayern have already qualified, having won their opening four group games. "We face a very important game," said Roma captain Francesco Totti. "This game and the match in Cluj will decide our qualification." Roma travel to Romania in a fortnight's time. The Italians, who lie second in the group, three points clear of Cluj and Basle, head into the encounter in buoyant mood. Saturday's 2-0 triumph over Udinese, their fourth win in five league games, lifted the Giallorossi up to fifth place in Serie A. "We have left behind us our disappointing start to the season," said Totti. "We are on the right path and we want to continue in the same manner." Bayern travel to the capital hoping to keep up their perfect record in the competition. Last season's Champions League runners-up won 4-0 in Cluj last time out to seal their progress. Louis van Gaal's side head to Rome on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions. However, last weekend's 1-1 draw at Bayern Leverkusen left them 14 points behind runaway leaders Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga. "We've not lost for nine games now," said Van Gaal. "We're playing better football, we're scoring goals, but it doesn't feel good when you fail to win. "This was another match we could have won. I think we still have a chance of battling for the title, but Dortmund obviously have the best chance now." The German giants will have to overcome the absence of the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger. Captain Mark van Bommel is out with a knee problem while Arjen Robben, Ivica Olic, Holger Badstuber and Miroslav Klose are all out injured. The only good news for Van Gaal is that Argentina centre back Martin Demichelis and French forward Franck Ribery have recovered from their respective injuries and will feature against Roma. Roma coach Claudio Ranieri welcomes back Daniele De Rossi and John Arne Riise after both missed Saturday's game through injury.