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banner Monday, 12 February, 2001, 17:00 GMT
Capello ready for tough test
Capello makes his feelings clear to Aldair during a match
Capello makes his feelings clear to Aldair
BBC Sport's Matt Smith travelled to the Eternal City to meet up with Roma coach Fabio Capello ahead of his side's fourth round Uefa Cup tie against Liverpool.

Fabio Capello could be forgiven for feeling quietly satisfied at his side's performances so far this season.

Having watched Lazio top the table last year it is now Rome's other club which is on top of the tree - leading Serie A by an impressive six points.

Having admittedly messed up in just one match, against Bari, Capello believes his squad has made good progress and is ready for the crucial European encounter.


They are a compact and physical side who don't throw themselves forward and don't often get caught on the break
  Fabio Capello
He said: "We've got good players, we've got a good balance between those players, and so far we've shown a strong will to win which is very important."

Liverpool's pedigree in Europe means they are always a tough test for any opposition, and Capello is well aware that there were easier sides to draw.

He said: "I've already watched a few games, I saw them beat Leeds in the FA Cup.

"They are a strong and talented side. I know Houllier, he is a friend of mine, he is very tactically aware and knows what to do during a game.

"They are a compact and physical side who don't throw themselves forward and don't often get caught on the break."

Kenny Dalglish during the 1984 European Cup Final
Kenny Dalglish during the 1984 European Cup Final
Despite appreciating the physical nature of the Liverpool side, Capello believes it is their technical ability which will dictate how the match is played.

"They have options, Smicer is very quick, Fowler is a strong technical player," he explained.

"They will play the way they need to depending on the opposition."

In the most famous meeting between the two sides, the Merseyside team defeated Roma on their home turf in the 1984 European Cup Final.

And Capello knows the competitive edge which exists between English and Italian sides is likely to be keenly felt.

He said: "There are always scores to settle between English and Italian football.

"You win some, you lose some. It is a long time ago 1984 and hopefully the result will be different this time, without going to penalties."

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