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Underdog role suits Garcia, but Roma ready to bite

20 October 2014, 21:35

Rome - Roma coach Rudi Garcia said the Serie A side will readily accept their underdog role but are hungry for success when they host Bayern Munich in their Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Roma's 5-1 opening win over CSKA Moscow and a 1-1 draw away to English champions Manchester City more than underlined their readiness for Europe's premier club event following a three-year absence.

However Garcia's men face another formidable test in the shape of the five-time European champions.

Bayern put six unanswered goals past struggling Werder Bremen at the weekend and Garcia admitted that most people will expect "one of the richest clubs in the world" to prevail.

But the Frenchman insists Roma's underdog status has not diluted their ambition to remain unbeaten in the competition on their way to qualifying for the last-16 knockout stages.

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"We're underdogs, we know that," Garcia told reporters on Monday. "We've produced two solid matches already but we have to keep going.

"Our only objective is to go out and upset the predictions that had us eliminated as soon as the (group stage) draw was made.

"We want to get past this first hurdle. But tomorrow (Tuesday), after the match, we will only be at the halfway stage of this mini-league.

"Bayern are one of the richest clubs in the world, they have great players and win almost all the time, but they haven't won the match yet.

"Anything can happen, that's the beauty of football."

Roma warmed up for the high-profile fixture with a resounding 3-0 defeat over Chievo on Saturday that left the Giallorossi just one point behind Juventus in Serie A.

In the Champions League Bayern have registered back-to-back wins over the same Group E opposition as Roma and, after their weekend waltz in the Bundesliga, Pep Guardiola's men should be brimming with confidence.

German international striker Thomas Mueller, however, expects a far tighter encounter in the Italian capital.

"It won't be decided quickly, but will be the sort of game which hangs in the balance," Mueller said Sunday following training.

"The main thing is to take at least a point, so that we stay top in the group."

The Germans have also kept a clean sheet since August 30, meaning Roma's possible three-pronged attack of Gervinho, Mattia Destro and Francesco Totti will be kept on their toes all night.

But Garcia added: "I've said since I arrived at Roma that we always respect our opponents but we're not afraid of anyone.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday) we're facing a great team and some great players but we have great players of our own, we're hungry and we want to do well in front of 70,000 fans.

"I can't wait to see the Stadio Olimpico at full capacity."



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