Prediction: Correct Score 1-1
Manchester United take on AS Roma in the second-leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final meeting in the driving seat to reach the final.
The Red Devils racked up a comprehensive 6-2 victory in the first-leg at Old Trafford and should progress unless there is a dramatic swing in fortunes.
To say it has been a lively week for the Giallorossi would certainly be putting things lightly. It was a week that started with the thumping at the hands of the Red Devils and things have really not got quieter since. They were then defeated 2-0 by Sampdoria at the weekend, leaving their hopes of UEFA Champions League football in Serie A in tatters. This led to the announcement that current Head Coach Paulo Fonseca was set to depart come the conclusion of the season. If things weren’t surprising already, it was then revealed that Jose Mourinho was set to be his replacement at the Stadio Olimpico.
Away from the future, it is worrying times for Roma right now. The Italian giants head into their clash with the Red Devils without a win in their last six matches in all competitions and have lost their last three. It is their worst run of form since September 2018. Should they lose on Thursday, it would be the first time that they have fallen to defeat in four consecutive matches in over ten years.
The Italians could be without a number of key players as they prepare to host United. Goalkeeper Pau Lopez is out after dislocating his shoulder in the first-leg. Roma sustained a number of other injuries at Old Trafford and it is thought that Leonardo Spinazzola, Jordan Veretout and Amadou Diawara are all restricted to the sidelines. However, there is more positive news as defender Gianluca Mancini can return from suspension.
In opposition to the hosts, the Red Devils travel to the eternal city in fine form. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have lost just one out of their last 22 matches in all competitions. Meanwhile, after their thumping win last week, it now means that they have won six out of their last seven matches in all competitions. It all means that they are by far the most fancied to reach their first European final since winning the Europa League under Jose Mourinho in 2017. Solskjaer will certainly be hoping that his team can continue being as lethal in front of goal against Roma. So far throughout their run in the competition, the Red Devils have only failed to score once – in the 0-0 stalemate against Real Sociedad. Meanwhile, they have managed to find the net 16 times in just seven matches – a run that they will surely be keen to extend as they aim to book their place in the final.
Considering the relative comfort that the Red Devils find themselves in, Solskjaer could well be tempted to rotate for the upcoming clash. The likes of Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani could all be rested. Meanwhile, Eric Bailly could make a return to the starting line-up in place of Victor Lindelof. Only Phil Jones and Anthony Martial are the Red Devils absentees.
Key Facts To Consider
- Manchester United have only ever lost once to Roma in seven matches
- The Red Devils have won each of their away matches in the Europa League this season
- United have not lost an away match in Italy since 2007
- Roma forward Edin Dzeko has scored eight goals in just ten career appearances vs Man Utd
- There has never been a 0-0 between the two sides
A temptation from Solskjaer to rotate could see this game not quite as entertaining as the first-leg. Whilst Roma have little to play for, they will surely be keen to restore some pride. The scores could finish even as a result.
Prediction: Correct Score 1-1
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