We have arrived at the semi-final stage of the UEFA Europa League, with both games scheduled to be played on Thursday from 20:00 GMT. English Premier League side Manchester United host Italian Serie A outfit Roma at Old Trafford in a game that will be broadcast live on television to a sizable audience.
Thursday’s match will be the first time these teams have met since 2008 in the Champions League. Man Utd snuck a 1-0 home win on that occasion thanks to a goal from Carlos Tevez late in the game, handing his employers a 3-0 aggregate win. The head-to-head score between the sides shows four wins for Man Utd, one for Roma and a draw.
Man Utd brush off Granada
Manchester United beat Granada 4-0 on aggregate in the previous round to set up this clash with the Italians in the last four. They have breezed through this competition and have a real chance of going all the way and lifting the trophy once again if they want to. United will be playing Champions League football, either through a top-four finish in the Premier League or by winning the Europa League.
Since beating Granada 2-0 at home in the second leg, Man Utd beat Burnley 3-1 in the league at Old Trafford but was held to a 0-0 draw at Elland Road by Leeds United Sunday. The Peacocks were out to do the Manchester double after beating Man City recently but failed to find a way to break down an organised United defence.
Roma arrive with confidence
Roma knocked out Ajax in the quarter-final, beating the Dutch side 3-2 on aggregate. They won in the Netherlands before being held to a 1-1 draw on Italian soil in the second leg. Brobbey gave Ajax the lead in that match, but a late leveller was enough to push Roma through. It was a little too close for comfort, but few would grudge Roma their place in the last four of the competition.
Since that home draw with Ajax, Roma has lost 3-1 to Torino on the road, drew 1-1 at home to Atalanta and then lost 3-2 at Cagliari. They have conceded more than ten goals already this month is cause for concern to followers of Roma.
Man Utd v Roma prediction
Man Utd has the home advantage and is also the form team heading into this match. The locals will be confident and will have noticed the goals conceded by their opponents in recent games. The hosts know their best chance of progressing to the final comes from scoring a home win, preferably without conceding a goal.
Roma is up against it here, but they are in the semi-final on merit and will rate their chances. If Roma can score an away goal and keep things competitive heading back to Italy, they will have a great chance of going through.
Europa League odds
Man Utd is 1.56 with Roma 5.85 and the draw 4.1.
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