Real Madrid will be wary of the threat posed by Roma when the two teams meet in the UEFA Champions League first leg at the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday.
The 2014 champions was one of the most impressive sides in the group stage of the competition, with Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way, scoring 11 goals, a record in that particular phase of the Champions League.
Having seen off the challenge from PSG to seal top place, Real Madrid have been handed a difficult opponent in the shape of Roma, who finished second in their group behind Real's rivals Barcelona.
A couple of months ago, Real Madrid would have really fancied their chances of easing through to the quarterfinals with victory over Roma, but the Italian side have improved considerably over the past few matches, and are currently on a four-game winning run, while they have lost just one of their last 13 matches.
Real's iffy away form will also give encouragement to the Serie A team, with manager Luciano Spalletti believing the tie is anybody's to win, especially considering the Spanish side have lost their last eight two-legged ties against teams from Italy.
"I don't think there are any favourites, both sides have a 50-50 chance of making it through the round," Spalletti told UEFA's official website. "We want confirmation of the progress we're making and this is the perfect match to understand whether we're on the right track or not."
Ronaldo agrees with Spalletti that this Roma vs Real Madrid tie could go either way. "I agree with what Luciano Spalletti said -- both teams have a 50% chance of getting through this tie," Ronaldo told reporters. "We'll see what happens on the pitch. [Against Roma] we want to do our duty and we will try to win by playing our own football against a good team, who will have the support of their fans."
The first leg will be crucial. If Real Madrid finds their away form, then the tie could be over even before they arrive for the second leg at the Bernabeu. However, the fact that Madrid have struggled for results outside the Bernabeu – Ronaldo has failed to score in any game since late November – means anything is possible, even if Zinedine Zidane, who knows a thing or two about playing in Italy, remains optimistic.
"The Champions League is a different competition to the Liga and Roma are a very good team who know how to play football," Zidane, who is still without Gareth Bale and Pepe, but welcomes back Marcelo, said. "It will be difficult, but we have trained well all week and are ready to do our part.
"We know the Champions League is special for this club, for me and for the players. We have a little pressure because we are Real, but it's all good. The players are focused and that is reassuring for me."
Where to Watch Live
Roma vs Real Madrid is scheduled for an 8.45 pm CET (7.45 pm GMT, 2.45 pm ET, 1.15 am IST) start. Ten Action and Ten HD. will broadcast the Champions League match live in India on TV. Viewers in India and the subcontinent can also watch Roma vs Real Madrid by online live streaming on Tensports Live.
BT Sport Europe is the channel to watch to catch the match live in the UK, with the online live streaming option on Watch BT Sport.
Viewers in China can watch the UEFA Champions League action live on PPTV Sports and QQ Sports.
Fox Sports 1 will show the UCL game live in the US, while the Champions League action can also be live streamed online on FoxSoccer2Go.
Audience in Canada, Indonesia, Thailand, North Africa, the Middle East, France, Spain and Australia can watch Roma vs Real Madrid live on TV on Bein Sports, with the live stream option on Bein Sports Connect.