AS Roma will take on Liverpool in the second leg of the Uefa Champions League semi-final clash hoping to overturn a 5-2 first leg deficit at Anfield. Mohammed Salah inspired Liverpool produced a spectacular display to stun Roma in the first leg encounter played at Anfield a week ago.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s side has shown that they are capable of producing miraculous comebacks like they did against Barcelona coming back from a 4-1 lost at the Nou Camp to win 3-0 at the Stadio Olimpico to dump the Catalan club out of the competition.
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Roma Champions League away form has been atrocious, the defeat at Anfield was the fourth straight away loss in this season’s Champions League, Roma has depended heavily on their home form, they have turned the Stadio Olimpico to some sort of fortress and Roma has not conceded in five Champions League matches at the stadium this season.
The Rome based club will once again depend on Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko to deliver the goals, he scored in the first leg and also scored in the 4-1 demolition of Chievo Verona at the weekend.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool is on the brink of a first Champions League final appearance since their memorable win over AC Milan in 2007 final at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Liverpool holds a 5-2 lead over Roma and are favourites going into the second leg in Rome.
The Reds had the luxury of resting some key players at the weekend against Stoke. Mohammed Salah will be returning to the Stadio Olimpico, a place he knows too well, he played in Roma for two seasons before joining Liverpool last season. The Egyptian has been in prolific form this season and has scored 41 goals for the Reds in this current campaign in all competitions.
Roma coach Di Francesco has hinted that Diego Perotti is likely to miss the Liverpool match due to injury while Kevin Strootman has also been l isted as doubtful for Wednesday’s game in Rome. Rick Karsdorp is also injured and will not play against Liverpool.
Dzeko is expected to lead Roma’s attack while first-team regular Kostas Manolas, Cengiz Under and Alessandro Florenzi who were rested at the weekend, should all return for the visit of Liverpool on Wednesday.
Jurgen Klopp is expected to be without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is out injured for the rest of the season, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Joel Matip are also on the sidelines for the Reds. While Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino who were rested at the weekend should return in attack alongside main man Mohammed Salah in a three-man forward line.
At left full-back Andrew Robertson should return while Trent Alexander-Arnold should also be in the starting lineup after shaking off a knock, the duo of Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren will operate at the heart of the defence for the Reds.
Roma Possible Starting Lineup:
Alisson; Fazio, Manolas, Jesus; Florenzi, De Rossi, Gonalons, Kolarov; Under, Nainggolan, Dzeko
Liverpool Possible Starting Lineup:
Karius; Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, van Dijk, Roberts; Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah
Liverpool holds a three-goal advantage heading into Wednesday’s game, Liverpool possesses a huge attacking threat in Mohammed Salah and will be feeling confident of at least scoring a goal or two that would effectively kill this game and send them into the final in Kiev.
Although Roma has shown that they can come back from seemingly difficult situations, they have equally turned the Stadio Olimpico into a slaughter slab with the likes of Barcelona, Shakhtar Donetsk and Chelsea among teams that have been butchered at the venue. We feel Roma will win on the night but they will not be able to pull off another miraculous comeback that will take them to the final.