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Roma vs Bayern Leverkusen Match Preview

Roma vs Bayern Leverkusen Match Preview

11th May, 2023 @ 07:19 am

After earning their first European trophy in over 60 years by winning the UEFA Europa Conference League last season, Roma enter this Europa League (UEL) semi-final looking to rebound from a 2-0 defeat to Inter Milan over the weekend. José Mourinho's side has now gone four games without a win (D2, L2), but the manager is "optimistic" that his players can return to form, although admitting they are "tired" following a rigorous schedule.

Given their terrible domestic form, Roma's greatest chance of qualifying for Europe next season may be through success in the UEL. Returning to UEL action may be a pleasant distraction, and Roma fans will be hopeful of achieving a first-leg victory against Bayer Leverkusen at Stadio Olimpico, where the Italian club has lost just one of their last 24 European matches (W17, D6).

Leverkusen will undoubtedly put that record to the test, as they travel from Germany on the back of a nine-game unbeaten run away from the BayArena (W6, D3), with a watertight defense preserving a clean sheet in four of the previous five! They do arrive in Rome on a bit of a low note, with a 2-1 Bundesliga derby defeat at home to Cologne on Friday effectively destroying their chances of finishing in the top four.

However, manager Xabi Alonso is hopeful that his team can recover and reach their first European final since 2002. The former Liverpool midfielder, who is also connected with the vacant Tottenham Hotspur post, has urged his players to make May a month to "forever remember" as they seek their first victory on Italian soil this century (D1, L5).

Key battle: Roma will be expecting for a goal from captain Lorenzo Pellegrini, who has never lost a home European game in which he has scored (W5, D1). He'll aim to continue that streak against Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who has only kept two clean sheets in his last 15 European away games (W8, D2, L5).

Both clubs have scored in the past four encounters between these two squads.

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