Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan is remaining wary of the threat Chelsea could pose at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday, but believes the Italian side has what it takes to beat the Premier League champions.
Roma came close to snatching a stunning Champions League victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago when the Serie A side come from 2-0 down to lead 3-2.
Eden Hazard’s header in the 75th minute, however, secured a 3-3 draw for Chelsea, with the Blues taking on Roma in the reverse fixture on Tuesday night.
Nainggolan, who will start for Roma against Chelsea after missing the 1-0 win over Bologna at the weekend, believes that his side must be “cautious” on Tuesday but insisted the Italians can beat Antonio Conte’s side.
“I don’t know if it will be more or less difficult,” Nainggolan told a press conference on Monday. “They’ll have more players available, they’ve been winning.
“We respect all teams especially Chelsea but we are aware of our means and work. We played a great game in London – we were close to winning it.
“We must be cautious. We are playing at home, in front of our full capacity crowd. We have what it takes to win the game.
“If we win tomorrow, it would be a step forward to the knockout round. We take it game by game, our results are good. We must try and score more goals.
“If you keep having narrow margin wins, you might concede a goal. We can stil improve going forward but we are enjoying the moment.”
Naiggolan was wanted by Conte at Chelsea, but chose to stay at Roma due to his happiness with the club and the city.
And when asked about coming up against Conte and Chelsea once again, Nainggolan replied: “I made my choice and I’m always focused. I will do my best. I never thought of hesitating for another minute so it doesn’t matter if it’s Chelsea or another team.
“It’s always nice games against top teams. Like all professionals, I know how to prepare myself for these games. But I’m ready to give my best.”