Roma boss Spalletti concerned by fixture congestion


Roma coach Luciano Spalletti is wary of the pitfalls fixture congestion can cause, with his team's Serie A opener sandwiched between a Champions League play-off tie against Porto.

Following Wednesday's first leg against Porto at the Estadio do Dragao, Roma begin their domestic campaign at home to Udinese on Saturday.

Spalletti's side then host Porto at the Stadio Olimpico three days later, providing an intense start to the 2016-17 campaign.

The coach admits it may be difficult to come out on top in all three matches, but knows Roma cannot afford to miss out on Champions League football.

"On Wednesday August 17, the new season officially starts. This play-off with Porto is crucial for us, and we've worked hard to prepare as well as possible," Spalletti wrote in his matchday programme notes.

"It's a really important match and we have to be ready. Of course, it would have been better if we were top seeds, but we have to think like a high-level team and be ready to face any team, without wanting one over another.

"Roma are built to play against opponents of our level, meeting the great teams needs to become the norm for us.

"It's difficult to get through the play-off and win the first league game well, the latter game is sandwiched in between the first leg and the return in the Champions League, but we're structured to win big games."