Julio Baptista has begged Claudio Ranieri to put him in Roma’s starting line-up for their crucial Europa League tie at Fulham tonight.

The former Arsenal forward has made just two appearances for the Italian side this season but feels he is approaching his best form and is desperate to fire Roma to a much-needed win after they slumped to a shock defeat in Basle in their opening group fixture. Baptista is also keen to make amends for Roma’s shocking record in England, they have won just once in fourteen previous visits.

My physical condition is getting better and better. Now I need to get a check up on the field of play and possibly feature a bit more regularly. I have gone through a particular spell of late and I was not able to train properly.

I hope to find a little space here in London in a game which will be hard to get the three points from. I have already played at Craven Cottage and it’s never easy to defeat English teams at their own grounds.

Roma don’t have a good tradition around here and we want to snap that, because a victory would mean taking a decisive step towards qualification.