UEFA Europa League is set for the Matchday with 2 matches of 1st Leg in their Semi-Final round. Each team has a role to make his team reach the final two spots to play the Final in Poland. We are talking about the second game to be played today. Lines are drawn and the game is on between the Red Devils of Manchester and the Yellow and Reds of Rome. The mighty team managed by Ole Gunnar Solksjær is all and most set to face Fonesca’s giant-slaying side.
Manchester United has dominated the knockout games this season, after being relegated to Europa League from Champions League. After beating Granada in their Quarter-Final matches, Manchester has another Italian challenge in the knockout stages after defeating Milan in the RO16. They are unbeaten in this competition and will look forward to clinching victory in the 1st Leg to get an edge over Roma.
On the other hand, the Roman squad has been very much consistent in this league, suffering just a loss in Group Stages. Paul’s plan came to fruit against Ajax as they defeated them with a bitter margin of 3-2. Roma has come a long way in this competition and will forward to clinch their Final spot to play in Poland.
Why to watch out for
There is certainly no reason in the world that would keep you bereft from watching this mega clash. Literally, nothing is greater than witnessing a clash between European giants in one of the continent’s elite leagues. United and Roma lock horns after a gap of almost 13 years and football fans will be waiting eagerly for the contest. In addition to that, it is taking place in the semifinals of the Europa League which is spicing it up even more. United are looking to grab the Europa League as their only silverware this season. They have certainly out of the title race in EPL after playing out a 0-0 draw against Leeds United. The devils have surely set their sights on the elusive trophy and will look to triumph against Roma.
The Giallorossis, are presently 7th on the SerieA table and are 11 points adrift of the Champions League spot. They have all but their hopes dashed of securing a UCL or UEL spot. Today when they face a high-flying United side, they would definitely be going all out for a win and gain an advantage in the first leg at Old Trafford. In all respects, it is promising to provide us with a quite enticing encounter. So guys, stay tuned in for the match and see which of these sides remain in an expedient position. The match is slated to get kicked off at 00:30 IST or 19:00 GMT.
The Red Devils come into the match after a drab draw against Leeds United at weekend. In spite of being 2nd in the league, the title is gone for good. So Ole’s men will turn their attention on winning the Europa League after last winning it in 2016-17. Arguably, the favorites of the remaining 4, Manchester United will be hoping to put up a dominating performance when they host the Italian side on Thursday. Manchester United does have an upper hand in the head-to-head between these sides, and they will be expected to extend it in the semi-finals.
The Italian side comes into the match not in best of form, having not won in their last 4 matches. Their disappointing league form has seen them slip to 7th in Serie A. Unless they win the Europa League, Champions League is looking like a distant dream for the Romans. This may also turn out as added motivation for Fonseca’s men when they travel to Manchester for the first leg. Roma will be hoping for their star forward Edin Dzeko to fire if they are to reach the final in Poland, come the 26th of May.
The Red Devils will be playing against the Italian giants with no such major injury concerns in the team. French striker Anthony Martial continues to remain on the sidelines on account of a season-ending knee injury. The same is the case for Phil Jones who is ruled out due to a back injury. Ivorian Eric Bailly has recovered from COVID-19 and will be fit for the clash. Marcus Rashford is expected to return to the team after recovering from a foot injury. Solskjaer will be boosted by the return of Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, and Scott Mctominay into the side. All these players missed the second leg quarterfinal clash against Granada serving a 1 match suspension. Apart from the two injuries, United has a fully fit squad.
Roma will be traveling to Old Trafford with injuries to some key players in their team. Former Chelsea striker Pedro will miss the first leg due to a thigh strain. Youngster Nicolo Zaniolo is yet to regain full fitness after tearing his ACL last September. Riccardo Calafiori is also sidelined for the fixture because of a ligament injury. Former United man and Roma’s star this season, Henrikh Mkhitaryan returned from injury last weekend against Cagliari. He will face his former club today night. Another United discard, Chris Smalling, started against Cagliari after coming out of injury for over a month. Winger Leonardo Spinazolla and reserve striker Stephen El Shaarawy also entered the squad in the Cagliari match. Regular starting Central Defender Gianluca Mancini will miss this clash owing to a suspension. Besides these aforementioned injuries, Paulo Fonseca will have a fit squad to choose his starting XI.
Players to watch out for
The academy star has grown up to arguably be called a wonderkid. And why not! He has the quality and the form on his side. Having been a significant player for the team in the past couple of weeks, Greenwood is one exciting punt to look out for. Even if he comes from the bench, he has the ability to create an impact and turn the match in his team’s favor.
If Ole’s finally wants to sail through to a final, the anchor of that ship needs to step up. Bruno has been poor lately, in the Premier League. But knowing the significance of this game, every heartbeat of every Manchester United fan will be rooting for him. With Pogba in form and Rashford likely to make a return, he will however have some pressure off his shoulders.
The veteran target man for Roma is on a good run of form in the European League, scoring four times and assisting once. Having played for Manchester City in the past, he will be aiming to find himself on the scoresheet, as he plays in old foes. A European Cup for Roma would see them through the Champions League next season. And with the Serie A scenario looking unfavorable, all eyes will be on the striker ahead of this all-important clash.
Homecoming doesn’t sound better for Mkhitaryan to prove his doubters wrong. The Armenian seems to have found himself all over again, playing for the Serie A outfit. His previous spells in the Premier League have been under-appealing. Even though his influence in the Europa League has been decent, he would be banking on himself, knowing his League form.
In the end, it is going to be an extravagant display of Football, as top-notched United will face the mighty Roma. Both these squad have a lot on their platter and also there will a lot of action for you on the comfort of your TV screens. Bottle teams look in better condition and we might see the best of their squad. A tactical ‘ Chess-on-the-Pitch ‘ moment might come but for that, you must watch out for this game.
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