Man Utd vs Roma Europa League Preview | Confirmed Team News | Expected Line-Ups
Manchester United invite Roma to Old Trafford this evening in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie. Here is our preview.
Manchester United invite Roma to Old Trafford this evening in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie.
This will be the seventh time these two teams have met in European competitions, with all previous meetings having taken place in the Champions League. During these meetings, Man United only lost once against their Italian rivals.
Roma have lost their last three domestic league games, currently sitting in seventh place in Serie A, six points from sixth place. Manchester United on the other hand currently sit in second place in the Premier League table, having not lost a single league game since the end of January 2021.
This will be the fifth semi-final Man Utd have reached since the beginning of last year, all of which they have lost. Nevertheless, this year United are viewed as the favourites to lift the Europa League trophy if they can beat Roma and finally progress to a final.
Man Utd will still be without Anthony Martial and Phil Jones who are both out with long-term injuries.
United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has confirmed that everyone else should be fit and available for Thursday. Speaking to club media Solskjaer said, “They’re all fit and available, we didn’t lose anyone from the last game, which was good.”
This means both Eric Bailly – who returned to training after recovering from COVID-19 – and Marcus Rashford – who is managing a foot injury – will be available for selection.
Speaking about Rashford Solskjaer said, “We have managed Marcus and we have had to do it for quite a while, I feel he’s gone through the worth now. He’s available for selection tomorrow, he’s happy with the progress.”
For Roma, former Man City man Edin Dzeko was rested at the weekend in preparation for Thursday’s game, therefore he is a likely starter.
Former Man United players, Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have both been included in the travelling squad and should both therefore be available for selection. However, former Chelsea player Pedro is likely to be out due to an injury.
Roma defender Gianluca Mancini will be out through suspension and midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo out through injury.
Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, Pogba; Rashford, Fernandes, Greenwood; Cavani
David de Gea should be given the nod in goal after Dean Henderson started the last two Premier League games.
At the back, Eric Bailly – who signed a contract extension with United this week – may come back into the starting line-up, having had a pro-longed rest period recovering from COVID-19. This would provide Victor Lindelof with a rare opportunity to rest ready for Liverpool at the weekend.
Paul Pogba only played around 20 minutes of Sunday’s game against Leeds, hinting perhaps at Solskjaer’s plans to start the Frenchman against Roma. With Marcus Rashford fit, it would make sense to play Pogba more centrally in this game, allowing either Scott McTominay or Fred to rest ahead for the weekend.
As per usual, Bruno Fernandes will retain his spot as United’s creative force in attacking midfield.
Edinson Cavani is likely to lead the line after only coming on in the 85th minute of Sunday’s game. This would move Mason Greenwood to his more familiar position on the right-wing in the place of Dan James who will have to settle for a place on the bench.
Roma (3-4-2-1): Lopez; Ibanez, Smalling, Christante; Karsdorp, Veretout, Diawara, Peres; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko
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