AS Roma will host Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-finals, looking to pick up a positive result at home.

Jose Mourinho knows how to grind out important results in European games. So he will want AS Roma to head into the second leg against Bayer Leverkusen with a significant advantage.

Roma have done quite well at home under Mourinho, especially in the European competitions. So Bayer Leverkusen will be up against a formidable opponent on Thursday. That said, the Giallorossi have failed to win the last four matches across all competitions and will have to improve their performances to grind out a win at home.

Meanwhile, Bayer Leverkusen have impressed in the Bundesliga under Xabi Alonso. And the former Real Madrid midfielder will look to guide his side to a famous win away from home. The visitors have played exciting attacking football all season, and they have the quality to dismantle the Roma defence.

However, the German outfit are in similar form to that of Roma. So both teams will have to improve on the recent displays in order to come away with a positive result. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the upcoming meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

AS Roma

Jose Mourinho will be without the services of Rick Karsdorp, Diego, Llorente, and Marash Kumbulla. Karsdorp is ruled out for the remainder of the season after having a knee surgery. Kumblula is sidelined with ACL damage.

Roma are likely to start in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Rui Patrício in goal. Gianluca Mancini will start in the back three with Chris Smalling and Roger Ibanez. Nicola Zalewski and Leonardo Spinazzola will look to contribute offensively as well as defensively from the wing-back positions.

Bryan Cristante will look to control the proceedings in the middle of the park alongside Nemanja Matic, who will look to break up the opposition attacks. Paulo Dybala and Lorenzo Pellegrini will be the attacking midfielders and the two players will look to add creativity and goals to the side. Tammy Abraham will lead the line for the home side.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski, Cristante, Matic, Spinazzola; Dybala, Pellegrini; Abraham

Bayer Leverkusen

Xabi Alonso will be without the services of Andrey Lunev and Patrik Schick. Bayer Leverkusen are likely to shape up in a 3-4-2-1 formation as well, with Lukas Hradecky in goal.

Edmond Tapsoba will start alongside Jonathan Tah and Piero Hincapie in the central defence. Jeremie Frimpong and Mitchel Bakker will look to make their mark offensively from the wing-back positions and they will look to cover the central defenders as well. Frimpong has been extremely productive going forward and could make a big difference for Leverkusen on the counter.

Exequiel Palacios will partner Robert Andrich in the centre of the midfield. Moussa Diaby and Florian Wirtz will look to add pace, flair and creativity to the side from the central attacking midfielder areas. The two players are likely to drift wide from time to time as well. Adam Hlozek will lead the line for the Germans.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Hradecky; Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie; Frimpong, Palacios, Andrich, Bakker; Wirtz Diaby; Hlozek

Key Stats

  • AS Roma have scored at least two goals in their last three matches against Bayer Leverkusen in all competitions.
  • Bayer Leverkusen have scored at least two goals in their last three matches against AS Roma in all competitions.
  • Both Leverkusen and Roma have failed to win four of the last six matches across all competitions.
  • 23 goals have been scored in the last five meetings between these two sides.

Player to Watch

Paulo Dybala

Embed from Getty Images

Paulo Dybala is undoubtedly the player to watch out for when the two sides meet tomorrow. The 29-year-old Argentine international has been in spectacular form, scoring 16 goals and picking up seven assists across all competitions for AS Roma this season.

The World Cup winner has three goals in his last six appearances, even though he has not started four of those matches. He will look to influence the game in the final third with his goal, scoring ability and creativity.


AS Roma 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen

This is likely to be a close contest and the two teams are quite evenly matched on current form. However, AS Roma have been formidable at home in the European competitions under Jose Mourinho. And they have the quality to grind out a positive result here. The Hard Tackle predicts a narrow 2-1 win for the Italian club tomorrow.

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