Perotti: ‘EDF is different’

Roma winger Diego Perotti explains the differences between Luciano Spalletti and Eusebio Di Francesco – “before we changed formation during the season”.

The former Sassuolo boss took over the Giallorossi this summer, as Spalletti moved to Inter at the end of his contract.

“We have another way of working, since the pre-season training camp he’s worked on our style of play, inculcating his ideas,” Perotti explained to Sky.

“Before we would change formation during the season, but Di Francesco always wants to base things on his 4-3-3, he wants to see us play between the lines.

“For me as a winger, he asks me to throw myself in and take the ball between the lines, which I didn’t do before.

“He wants the team to be compact, we all have to be involved.”

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Nainggolan eyes European glory

Radja Nainggolan believes Roma have what it takes to go all the way in the Champions League this season.

Roma are on the verge of the Champions League last 16 after winning three and drawing one of their group games to date, and their progress has allowed Nainggolan to ‘dream’.

“The Champions League is the dream of every lad that plays football,” the midfielder told UEFA’s official website.

“I’ve worked so hard and it’s a dream that’s come true for me. It’s a different atmosphere and a League in itself.

“Ultimately, it’s a short competition and you pay for your mistakes if you do badly, but we can also take so much satisfaction and this is what we have to try to do.

“We want to go as far as possible. Our group is difficult, and judging by how we’re going at the moment, we can go through, but we have to think about each game at a time.

“When I left Cagliari, I wanted to join a very important club. I could’ve joined so many other teams, but I waited until the right time because at the time, the President didn’t want to let me go so easily…

“I came here with the awareness that at a big team, you have to work hard. I’ve made myself available, now I have a beautiful relationship with the fans.

“I feel respected and always try to respect our shirt in every game.”

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Nainggolan back in Belgium squad

Belgium have brought Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan back into their squad for upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Japan.

Nainggolan has not played for Belgium since March, with Coach Roberto Martinez suggesting the midfielder’s smoking habit was behind his omission.

However, the 29-year has seemingly earned a recall for his performances in helping Roma go five games unbeaten and move top of their Champions League group.

He is joined in Belgium’s squad by fellow Serie A pair Jordan Lukaku and Dries Mertens.

The Red Devils face Mexico next Friday, in the first of their pre-World Cup friendlies, before hosting Japan on November 14.

Belgium squad for Mexico: Casteels, Courtois, Mignolet, Sels; Boyata, Ciman, Dendoncker, Kabasele, Jordan Lukaku, Meunier, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Chadli, De Bruyne, Defour, Dembele, Januzaj, Nainggolan, Tielemans, Witsel; Batshuayi, Depoitre, Eden Hazard, Thorgan Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Mertens, Mirallas, Origi

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Lazio get around ultras ban again

Lazio are due to spark further controversy after again getting around a ban for Curva Nord ultras by giving them tickets to the Curva Sud.

Italian football rules can lock down sections of a stadium that were responsible for racist or offensive chants, so Lazio’s Curva Nord was closed for the game against Cagliari.

Instead, the club allowed Curva Nord season ticket holders to move over to the Curva Sud for that match at a nominal cost of €1, effectively not banning these fans, simply shuffling them along.

It was during this ‘ban’ that Lazio ultras put offensive stickers along the Plexiglas wall in the Curva Sud, where Roma fans usually sit for home games, including one of Holocaust icon Anne Frank wearing a Giallorossi jersey.

Lazio’s Curva Nord is given another ban for the match against Udinese on Sunday afternoon, but the club announced it will once again sell tickets to Curva Nord members for other areas of the stadium at a cost of €8m.

It remains to be seen whether the FIGC will try to punish Lazio again for this bending of the rules.

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U21: Azzurrini squad for Russia

Gigi Di Biagio called up a 23-man squad for the Italy Under-21 international friendly against Russia on November 14.

The Azzurrini have won their last three on the bounce against Slovenia, Hungary and Morocco.

They will host their Russian counterparts at the Stadio Stirpe in Frosinone on Tuesday November 14 at 17.30 GMT.

There is the debut call-up at Under-21 level for Basel defender Raoul Petretta.

GK: Emil Mulyadi Audero (Venezia), Simone Scuffet (Udinese)

D: Kevin Bonifazi (Torino), Davide Calabria (Milan), Elio Capradossi (Bari), Lorenzo Dickmann (Novara), Gianluca Mancini (Atalanta), Raoul Petretta (Basel), Giuseppe Pezzella (Udinese), Filippo Romagna (Cagliari)

M: Nicolò Barella (Cagliari), Fabio Depaoli (Chievo Verona), Manuel Locatelli (Milan), Rolando Mandragora (Crotone), Alessandro Murgia (Lazio)

F: Federico Bonazzoli (Spal), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Patrick Cutrone (Milan), Andrea Favilli (Ascoli), Riccardo Orsolini (Atalanta), Vittorio Parigini (Benevento), Daniele Verde (Hellas Verona), Luca Vido (Atalanta)

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