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Real Madrid Vs AS Roma, UEFA Champions League, Julen Lopetegui, Eusebio Di Francesco

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Real Madrid Vs AS Roma: Julen Lopetegui & Eusebio Di Francesco to start with huge burden

Real Madrid, three successive UEFA Champions League winners will start their campaign against last season semifinalists AS Roma. Both teams have huge responsibility as their respective fans will expect them to emulate their successes. It left their respective manager Julen Lopetegui & Eusebio Di Francesco to start with a huge burden on their shoulders.

However, they have little to worry about getting past group stage. They are in group G alongside CSKA Moscow and Victoria Plzen. They will always be favourite to reach to the last 16 stage against the likes of CSKA Moscow and Victoria Plzen, but they’ll have to start with solidarity.

Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui have a huge burden in terms of managing World’s best club, and it gets double when you know your predecessor has delivered three successive Champions League trophy. And, especially when you start a new campaign with the same team, the world have eye on you.

Lopetegui’s work and progress will be under scrutiny from the very first match. After Zinedine Zidane announced his departure from the club and talisman striker Cristiano Ronaldo made a switch to Juventus, Real Madrid is not favourite to lift the trophy this time.

In this scenario, it’s very necessary for Lopetegui to start the campaign big. He would have preferred facing CSKA Moscow and Victoria Plzen first, but it’s AS Roma. A team, who eliminated mighty Barcelona last season to book their place in semifinal, and now they are grouped alongside European champions.

However, it’s not going to be easy for AS Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco as well. He has a huge responsibility to emulate his last season success which he knows was due to a magical night on 11 April 2018, at Stadio Olimpico.

Roma out of six away games only won one against Qarabag and that came at group stage. They only enjoyed three victories, two draws and a loss at group stage. They were lucky to escape last 16 and quarterfinals on away goal rule.  And they only run out of luck against Liverpool in semifinal. If they haven’t conceded second away goal in semifinal return fixture, they’d have been in final.

It puts them under intense pressure to deliver result this season in UEFA Champions League as well. However, they haven’t enjoyed a good start in the domestic football. They have accumulated only 5 points out of possible 12 in Serie A. They started with a late 1-0 victory against Torino, but played 3-3 draw with Atalanta, lost 2-1 against AC Milan, and played a 2-2 spoiler against Chievo in their last game.

Eusebio Di Francesco is already under scrutiny back in Italy and here arrived Champions League. He has a great burden on his shoulder to deliver results and maintain the City pride. And facing Real Madrid first, only makes his task difficult.

It’s sure that neither Julen Lopetegui, nor Eusebio Di Francesco is in a comfortable position starting the new UEFA Champions League campaign, but they’ll have to deal with it. Their managerial role at the club will be decided by their team performances in the Champions League and not in the league, because it’s real test of their strength.


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