Brighton & Hove Albion vs AS Roma: Preview and Prediction

Brighton & Hove Albion will have a considerable lead to overturn when they welcome AS Roma to the Amex Stadium on Thursday.

The 2023/24 UEFA Europa League season continues with the second-leg encounters of the Round of 16. One of the most highly-awaited match-ups of the latest stage has proven to be one-sided thus far. But Brighton & Hove Albion will look to script a remarkable turnaround when they host AS Roma at the Amex Stadium on Thursday night.

Brighton & Hove Albion reached the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 by finishing atop Group B ahead of Marseille. But they have blown hot and cold in recent few weeks, winning only one of their last five matches, although that victory came this past weekend against Nottingham Forest.

As for AS Roma, they have become a force to reckon with since the return of Daniele De Rossi. The Roma legend replaced Jose Mourinho in January for only his second-ever managerial job. And he has overseen an incredible run of seven wins in 11 games, with the most recent seven matches ending in an unbeaten result. The Giallorossi qualified for the Round of 16 by beating Feyenoord on penalties in the playoffs before meeting Brighton in the first leg last week.

The first leg ended in a resounding 4-0 win for AS Roma, even though Brighton & Hove Albion had 60% of the possession. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Brighton & Hove Albion

Roberto De Zerbi has greeted a positive update on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against AS Roma on Thursday, the Brighton & Hove Albion manager will be bereft of the services of four first-team players.

Billy Gilmour will return after being unavailable due to a suspension this past weekend against Nottingham Forest. In addition, Igor Julio and Julio Enciso should likely make the matchday squad. But James Milner (hamstring), Jack Hinshelwood (foot), Kaoru Mitoma (back), and Joao Pedro (thigh) remain on the sidelines.

Jason Steele should get the nod over Bart Verbruggen between the sticks, with Brighton lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against AS Roma. Lewis Dunk and Jan Paul van Hecke will likely form the central defensive pairing, with Tariq Lamptey and Pervis Estupinan being the two full-backs.

As for the midfield unit, the returning Gilmour should pair up with Pascal Gross in the double pivot. Adam Lallana will likely reprise the no. 10 role, with Simon Adingra and Ansu Fati being the two wide attackers. Finally, Danny Welbeck will spearhead the Brighton attack, with Evan Ferguson being an option on the bench.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Steele; Lamptey, Dunk, van Hecke, Estupinan; Gilmour, Gross; Adingra, Lallana, Fati; Welbeck

AS Roma

Unlike his counterpart in the Brighton & Hove Albion dugout, Daniele De Rossi has new issues to deal with ahead of the trip to the Amex Stadium. The AS Roma manager will be without four first-team players on Thursday.

Tammy Abraham is the most notable absentee, with the English international recovering from a knee injury. In addition, Chris Smalling (ankle), Rasmus Kristensen (hamstring), and Renato Sanches (muscular) are in the treatment room.

AS Roma should line up in a 4-3-3 formation against Brighton, with Mile Svilar taking his spot between the sticks. De Rossi should rotate his troops on Thursday, considering his side’s daunting lead in the tie. The defensive unit should see the return of Zeki Celik, Gianluca Mancini, and Leonardo Spinazzola.

As for the midfield trifecta, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edoardo Bove should line up alongside Leandro Paredes in the middle of the park. Meanwhile, the offensive unit should have a new look, with Sardar Azmoun leading the line for AS Roma against Brighton, with Tommaso Baldanzi and Nicola Zalewski being the two wide attackers.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Svilar; Celik, Mancini, Ndicka, Spinazzola; Bove, Paredes, Pellegrini; Baldanzi, Azmoun, Zalewski

Key Stats

  • Thursday’s clash will be only the second-ever meeting between Brighton & Hove Albion and AS Roma. The Italian club won the first leg 4-0.
  • No team has overturned a four-goal deficit from the first leg of a two-legged knockout tie to progress to the next stage.
  • AS Roma have won just one of their 22 away games in England in European competition D8 L13), a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup Round of 16. They are winless in 14 matches on English soil.
  • AS Roma are without a win in their last seven away games in the knockout stages of major European competition (D4 L3) since a 1-0 victory against Vitesse Arnhem in the UEFA Europa Conference League in March 2022.
  • Romelu Lukaku has seven goals in the UEFA Europa League this season, just one shy of his season-record in the competition (8 for Everton in 2014/15). Edin Dzeko was the last AS Roma player to find the back of the net more often in the Europa League (8 in 2016/17).

Player to Watch

Simon Adingra

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The spotlight will be on Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku if they take the field on Thursday. But with both AS Roma stars likely to start on the bench, the attention moves to Simon Adingra, who has been a game-changer for Brighton & Hove Albion, especially in the absence of Kaoru Mitoma and Joao Pedro.

The Ivory Coast international must step up and produce his best performance in the 2023/24 season to help Brighton turn things around in the tie with AS Roma. If that happens, a comeback for the ages might be on the cards at the Amex Stadium this midweek.


Brighton & Hove Albion 1-2 AS Roma

AS Roma showcased the gulf in quality between the two clubs at Stadio Olimpico last week. The deficit might reduce this week, especially if Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala start on the bench. But Brighton might not have the resources to overcome the AS Roma test on Thursday if you are looking for certain punts for old and new betting sites.

Expect the home side to put up a fight, with Simon Adingra and Danny Welbeck making their mark. But Sardar Azmoun should make the difference with a dazzling performance, with AS Roma clinching a 2-1 victory to seal a comfortable passage to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

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