Champions League

Roma v BATE: Nainggolan wants flawless performance

Radja Nainggolan wants a flawless performance from Roma when they attempt to defeat BATE and seal progression to the knockout stages of the Champions League.

Rudi Garcia’s men sit second in Group E ahead of matchday six with five points from as many games and will book their ticket to the next round with a win at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.

Roma have been struggling to find their best form in recent weeks, though, and Nainggolan is desperate to end their four-game winless streak when the Belarusian side arrive in the Italian capital.

“I think the good times will return. We have belief in the squad, we’re a strong group and we’re just waiting to get back to winning ways,” the Belgium international told reporters.

“Wednesday’s Champions League match will be tough, just as the match against Torino was. We have to approach it with the same desire and determination.

“We know we have to win to go through, so we’ll knuckle down and try to secure the points against BATE.


“We were playing well up until a couple of games ago and things don’t just vanish overnight.

“We’re on the right track and working on things. We just have to keep grafting to produce a flawless performance.”

Roma will still be without Mohamed Salah due to an ankle injury, while Francesco Totti is unavailable due to a thigh problem. Gervinho, meanwhile, could also miss Wednesday’s encounter after picking up a thigh problem in the 1-1 Serie A draw with Torino on Saturday.

BATE would have given themselves little hope of progressing from Group E after they were paired with Barcelona, Roma and Bayer Leverkusen earlier this year, yet they still have every chance of making it to the next round.

If they win at the Stadio Olimpico and Bayer Leverkusen fail to claim all three points at home to Barcelona, BATE will progress to the knockout stages for the first time in their history.

Aleksandr Yermakovich’s men face a tough task to see off Roma, though. They recorded a shock 3-2 win in the reverse fixture, but have won none of their five away games in the competition this season (including qualifiers), losing the last three.

Furthermore, BATE have been involved in four matches away at Italian opposition previously and they did not score a single goal across those fixtures (drawing one, losing four).

Wednesday’s encounter will be a reunion for BATE’s Aleksandr Hleb and Seydou Keita of Roma, who played together at Barcelona in 2008-09.

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