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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 24, 2009

Spalletti unconcerned by English record

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has backed his side to end their hoodoo on English soil at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Giallorossi have not won in their last five trips to face Premier League opposition, losing four on the trot.

That run includes the humbling 7-1 reverse at the hands of a rampant Manchester United in 2007, but Spalletti has brushed aside the significance of that streak.

"We have often lost when we have come to England but the statistics are not important," said Spalletti. "We have worked to improve the team and we know it's important to win."

"With the character this team has shown on a number of occasions against this kind of opposition I feel confident that sooner or later we will win (in England).

"We are always self confident in our qualities and my players can always have confidence in the the team. Our outlook and our preparation is always the same whoever we play.

"I would bet on a good Roma performance."

Reflecting on the work done at Arsenal by his opposite number Arsene Wenger, Spalletti was full of praise, insisting the Frenchman had put together a "special" group of players.

"They may be young but they have a lot of quality," he added. "The club knows how to transmit the right behaviour to the players when they wear the shirt.

"It is part of their project to find young players with lots of talent and from the very start they must show personality.

"It's a very strong group. In my opinion Arsenal as a group are special because of this tradition.

"I saw them in the their last match (the 0-0 draw with Sunderland) and they were in good condition and had lots of quality despite the draw."

Meanwhile, Roma's former Liverpool defender John Arne Riise has counselled his team-mates not to be pre-occupied with playing an English style of football at the Emirates.

Riise spent seven years at Anfield but was quick to play down the significance of his Premier League experience, instead urging his team to stick to their natural game.

"There is no need for me to tell the players how to do things or what to do," said the Norwegian.

"I've played in England before and I know the English style of football but it is important that we play the Roma style of football.

"We must play our own system and our own style.

"If we do that we are good enough to win but if we are to do that we need to be at our best because Arsenal are a strong team."

Spalletti may be forced into a late reshuffle after star striker Francesco Totti and right-back Cicinho both failed to complete training last night.

Totti appeared to be carrying a groin complaint, while Cicinho has been struggling with a knee injury, but both can expect to be given until the last moment to prove their fitness.

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