19 October 2014 13:54
Roma striker Mattia Destro is urging his side to prove their quality when they test themselves against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
The Serie A title challengers have returned to the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2011 this season and have made a bright start to their campaign.
A 5-1 Group E demolition of CSKA Moscow was followed by an encouraging 1-1 draw at Premier League champions Manchester City last month.
That sets the capital club up nicely for the challenge of facing Bayern – Champions League winners in 2012-13 and semi-finalists last term.
Destro scored in the fourth minute of Roma’s 3-0 win against Chievo on Saturday, a result that was the ideal response to a 3-2 loss at three-time defending Serie A champions Juventus.
And Roma’s latest win has Destro excited ahead of the visit of Pep Guardiola’s Bayern.
“It will be a wonderful match,” the striker told Sky Sport Italia. “We’ll be in front of our own fans, so we can’t wait.
“We were convinced [about our credentials] from the start of the season. We’ll go through our journey and see where we end up.
“We play every weekend and try to impose our football, always going for victory.”
Destro’s thoughts were echoed by Roma coach Rudi Garcia, who said he “really can’t wait” to play the Bundesliga champions.
Roma will also be wary of Manchester City, who sit third in the pool but have back-to-back clashes against CSKA Moscow on the horizon.
Bayern, meanwhile, top Group E after successive 1-0 triumphs and have won their last five matches in all competitions.
They have not conceded since August and thrashed rock-bottom Werder Bremen 6-0 in the Bundesliga on Saturday, with captain Philipp Lahm scoring a rare double.
Guardiola expressed his delight afterwards at how well his players had responded to international duty.
Robert Lewandowski was an unused substitute in the six-goal romp while Franck Ribery only played the last 29 minutes as Guardiola kept one eye on the European challenge ahead.
Bastian Schweinsteiger has finally returned to training after a knee injury but will not appear, while a recurrence of Thiago Alcantara’s own knee problem has him sidelined indefinitely.
The two sides met in Roma’s last Champions League campaign – Bayern winning 2-0 in Munich in September 2010 before overturning a two-goal deficit to win the return clash 3-2.