Historically, Spanish giants Real Madrid have not had the best of outings against Italian sides and will be keen to address that when they take on AS Roma today in the first leg encounter in the Champions League round of 16 in Italy.
Roma have a new man at the top in Luciano Spalletti; the Italian returns on his second stint at the team and will be meeting another new man at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, a man who is not new to Italian football, having spent some playing years in Turin.
Spalletti knows about Real Madrid, having led Roma to knock out Real Madrid in the quarter finals of the competition in 2007/08 season winning both legs by the same 2-1 score line. Incidentally, that was the last time Roma graced the quarter final of the Champions League.
Real Madrid cannot boast of a very good run against Italian sides but as they take on Roma for the fifth away game, they will be counting on the fact that they have never failed to score against the Italian side away from home in the previous four meetings.
Zinedine Zidane is unbeaten at Real Madrid and as he makes his Champions League debut as Madrid coach he will want to stretch his run on.
Real Madrid finished top of Group A in the first stage of the competition and will mark the 19th successive season in the second round. They have also reached the semi final in each of the past five seasons.
The cast is different for Roma, who made it to the second round for the first time since 2010/11 season.
The only previous encounter between Roma and Real Madrid in the knockout stages of the Champions League saw the Italian side progress 4-2 on aggregate in the Last 16 of the 2007/08 edition.
While Roma have won just two of their last 15 Champions League matches and keeping just one clean sheet in the last 20 matches, Real Madrid are one of two clubs still unbeaten in the Champions League this season, the other being Barcelona.
Roma will be wary about Cristiano Ronaldo, who has a great scoring record in the Champions League; the Portuguese forward scored his first Champions League goal against Roma in April 2007 while at Manchester United.
Both teams have four wins out of five matches heading to the game, with Real Madrid having drawn the other while Roma lost.
The match comes too soon for Real Madrid’s Welsh star Gareth Bale who is struggling with a calf injury but Marcelo was passed fit in a late test though he may well start from the bench.
On the Roma side, no major injuries have been reported though the new manager will have to deal with the absence of Naingollan and Daniel De Rossi are suspended for the first leg.