MILAN - Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini
believes AS Roma can pull off a Champions League shock on Tuesday, if they play
to their full potential against the English champions at the Etihad Stadium.
Roma's 5-1 rout of CSKA Moscow in their Group E opener,
coupled with City's defeat to Bayern Munich, has left Manuel Pellegrini's side
desperately needing three points.
Mancini is currently without a club having departed
Galatasaray at the end of last season -- and that has given the former City
boss time to keep a close eye on football in England and Italy.
"The key (for Roma) is to counter quickly and seize any
chances City might offer. Roma need to be vigilant in defence, keep focus for
the full 90 minutes and be clinical in attack," Mancini told Monday's
edition of sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport.
"A full-strength Roma can beat City, but the absences
of (Daniele) De Rossi, (Leandro) Castan and (Davide) Astori could make them
Roma will likely be without Italy midfielder De Rossi due to
a torn calf muscle, while Astori and Castan are still recovering from injury.
Exciting Roma forward Juan Iturbe, meanwhile, has been named
in Rudi Garcia's squad for Tuesday's game, suggesting he has recovered from a
thigh knock and will play a part at some stage.
Mancini added: "I see Iturbe has made the squad: he can
give City problems. On the counter he can be quite devastating."
The Italian, meanwhile, admitted he still feels very close
to the club he led to Champions League qualification and the FA Cup in his first
full season in charge, and the club's first league title in 44 years the
"I still feel City is a part of me," added
Mancini. "City's strong point is the players with whom I won three titles:
Yaya Toure, Zabaleta, Aguero, Dzeko, Silva.
"I have fond memories of almost all the players I
worked with at City."
Manchester was the scene of one of Roma's greatest
humiliations -- a 7-1 demolition by City's cross-town rivals Manchester United
in the Champions League quarter-finals in 2007.
However Roma are currently undefeated in Serie A after five
games and are jostling with champions Juventus for domestic supremacy.
Defeat for City, meanwhile, would leave Pellegrini's side in
the Group E doldrums. Either way, Mancini said he expects a "spectacular
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