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Roma coach Luciano Spalletti talked about tomorrow's match against Arsenal in the Champions League last 16 and assessed the condition of his players.

Roma travel to the Emirates Stadium tomorrow to face Arsenal in the first leg of one of the three Anglo-Italian face-offs in the Champions League last 16 stage.

Giallorossi coach Luciano Spalletti believes his team have a good chance of getting themselves in a good position after the first leg.

"Arsenal have a group of players who are a bit young, but they have a lot of quality," he said to Il Corriere dello Sport. "On Saturday they drew, but they played well. They have important individual players, they are compact at the back and strong in attack.

"They play with the ball on the ground and we will have to do well to contrast them. We want to reinforce our growth, and be aware of our strength."

On the condition of his players, the coach said: "There is little chance we will have Juan back. [Simone] Loria hasn't played much, but I have complete trust in him. Also [Souleymane] Diamoutene has done quite well since joining us. I hope to have Cicinho available, but we're not sure about [Mirko] Vucinic. [Francesco] Totti? He's doing well."

This will be Roma's fifth encounter with an English side in recent times. After meeting Manchester United in the quarter-finals two seasons ago, they were drawn in the same group as the Reds the following season, and incredibly met again at the quarter-final stage the same season. Unted always had the better, winning the group and knocking out the Giallorossi on both occasions to qualify for the semis.

This season, they faced off against Chelsea in the group stages, winning 3-1 in Rome and losing 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Danilo Pochini

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