It’s a replay of the first-ever UEFA Conference League final as Jose Mourinho’s Roma travel to Rotterdam to take on Eredivisie leaders Feyenoord.
Expected to be one of the most exciting matchups in the Europa League, the first leg of this quarterfinal clash will see Arne Slot-led Feyenoord Rotterdam host the reigning Conference League champions AS Roma.
After securing a mammoth 5-1 victory against ninth-placed RKC Waalwijk, Feyenoord must be riding the wave of momentum as they hold a comfortable 8-point lead at the top of the Eredivisie table.
Having suffered only a single defeat in the league entire season, the Rotterdammers reached the quarterfinals in some style. After finishing first in their Europa League group that consisted of Lazio, the Dutch side brutalized Shakhtar Donetsk with an aggregate scoreline of 8-2.
A long unbeaten run came to an end when Feyenoord fell short to arch-rivals Ajax in the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup in the past mid-week clash. However, they were quick to bounce back as Slot’s men breezed past Waalwijk.
Mourinho’s Roma on the other hand has had a season full of ups and downs.
After a successful start to the Portugese’s era at the helm of the Giallorossi, expectations were sky-high for Mourinho’s second season in charge of Napoli.
A season full of injuries, Mourinho’s red cards, and the manager’s fallout with players now sees AS Roma at the third spot in the Italian league to the surprise of many. Uncertainty still surrounds Mourinho’s continuity at the Italian capital, but the 60-year-old has done a fine job leading the Roma side so far.
Last 5 Results
Roma enter the match following up on a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Torino that saw the Giallorossi secure three points thanks to a Paulo Dybala penalty. The Italian side who currently sit third on the points table secured two wins, two losses, and a draw in their past five outings.
Feyenoord on the other hand secured some colossal victories in their recent outings, which include the 7-0 battering of Shakhtar, a derby win over Sparta, and the aforementioned 5-1 victory against Waalwijk.
Win: 1-0 vs Torino
Win: 3-0 vs Sampdoria
Loss: 1-0 vs Lazio
Draw: 0-0 vs Real Sociedad
Loss: 3-4 vs Sassuolo
Win: 5-1 vs RKC Waalwijk
Loss: 2-1 vs Ajax
Win: 3-1 vs Sparta Rotterdam
Win: 3-2 vs Ajax
Win: 7-1 vs Shakhtar Donetsk
After receiving seven minutes off the bench against Torino, English striker Tammy Abraham might finally make his return to Roma’s starting XI. Midfielder Ebrima Darboe and right-back Rick Karsdorp remain ruled out of the fixture due to injuries.
Goalkeeper Justin Bijlow and midfielder Quinten Timber continue their absences for Feyenoord due to injuries. Doubts surround the availability of Iranian winger Alireza Jahanbakhsh.
AS Roma –
Rui Patricio (GK), Spinazzola, Llorente, Smalling, Zalewski, Matic, Wijnaldum, El Sharaawy, Pellegrini, Dybala, Abraham
Wellenreuther (GK), Geertruida, Trauner, Hancko, López, Wieffer, Szymanski, Kokcu, Idrissi, Gimenez, Paixao
Head To Head
Roma and Feyenoord have come face to face against each other thrice in their history. The last time these two sides met each other was the 2021-22 UEFA Conference League final, a match that saw Mourinho and his men lift the first-ever Conference League title.
Feyenoord has never managed to get the better of Roma. Among the three occasions where the two sides have locked horns, Roma has emerged victorious in two of those, whereas one contest ended in a draw.
Where Will The Game Be Decided?
Feyenoord boasts one of the deadliest attacks in Europe this season. The Dutch side has scored over 90 times so far this season, and they lead the charts for most goals scored in the UEFA Europa League. Striker Santiago Gimenez has the best goal-scoring rate in the competition this season.
However, a Mourinho-led Roma might be one of the toughest challenges Arne Slot has faced so far in leading this Feyenoord squad. Jose Mourinho is a defensive mastermind and Roma has been among the most defensively astute sides in Italy this season.
Whoever comes out on top in the battle between Feyenoord’s sublime attacking unit and Roma’s rock-solid defensive wall shall move forward into the semifinals of the competition.
Roma could bolster their attack with Tammy Abraham’s presumptive return to the starting XI, likely increasing the Giallorossi’s odds of winning the game.
However, Feyenoord’s sumptuous goal-scoring form poses a huge threat to Roma’s chances of placing a foot in the semi-finals after the first leg.
With that in mind, we expect goals to be scored from both ends. However, in a tense European knockout tie, the much more experienced Roma side might bear an advantage over the 23.2 average-aged Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Our Predictions – Roma 2-1 Feyenoord
Roma to win: 9/4
Feyenoord to win: 27/20
The odds imply a probability of a Feyenoord win by 42.6%. There is a higher probability of fewer than 2.5 goals being scored (61.4%). The odds also favor the chances of only one team registering themselves on the scoresheet, though by a thin margin (51.28%).
- By Stake. At the time of writing.
The action kicks off at 16:45GMT at De Kuip, Rotterdam.
Leave a comment