29/03/2008 18:35, Report by Ben Hibbs
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Roma: Ones to watch

By now you should be well aware of the threat Roma pose. But just in case you haven't been paying attention, we've picked out five of the Giallorossi's key players ahead of April's Champions League quarter final showdown...

Position Midfielder Age 30 Nationality Italian
The Ashton-under-Lyne-born playmaker’s presence are integral to Luciano Spalletti’s style and tactics. His pinball-like box-to-box abilities make him a shoe-in for Roma’s most important games. Primarily an attacking midfielder linking the central players with the front men, he also assists in defence. The importance of his ability to break up play was felt acutely by the Italian side during last season’s 7-1 mauling at OT, which he missed due to suspension.

Position Defender Age 25 Nationality French
The linchpin of the back line, Mexes is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in Serie A. His biggest asset is his passion but it often gets him into trouble with referees. Mexes’ strength make him a tough and uncompromising, while his telepathic anticipation allows him to break up opposition attacks. If he lives up to his billing, the United strikers are in for a testing time.

Position Winger Age 27 Nationality Brazilian
Roma's equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mancini is, like the United winger, quick, skilful and with an eye for goal. Critics accuse him of inconsistency, but such is his influence that as long as he’s fit he should start. The Brazilian can operate on either flank as well as up front and, if he is in the right mood, is sure to cause problems. He scored against the Reds in the 1-1 Group F match in Rome this season.

Position Midfielder Age 31 Nationality French
Good friends with Patrice Evra from their time together at Monaco, when Giuly arrived at Stadio

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