Manchester United hosts Serie A side Roma being the favorites in the competition. On Thursday they face Roma in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final, with the tie deciding both clubs’ seasons.
This will be United’s fifth semi-final since the start of last year and are yet to reach a final. An under-performing Roma side comes into Old Trafford with only one win in their last seven league games.
- After serving a one-match suspension in the Europa League last time out, Manchester United welcome back Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, and Scott McTominay.
- Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani are expected to return to the starting XI on Thursday night after being rested for Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Leeds.
- If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer uses Pogba on the left-wing on Thursday, Mason Greenwood who has had a decent run in the side recently will most likely slip to the bench.
- Roma is Cavani’s favorite to score against after scoring nine goals in his career.
- David de Gea will start for the home side after losing his starting spot in the league to Dean Henderson.
- Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan returning have reduced Roma’s injury woes have eased in recent weeks.
- Edin Dzeko has scored more goals against Manchester United than any other English team in his career (6). On Thursday, the former Manchester City striker would expect to start against their local rivals.
- Ibanez will be ready to return to the starting XI after skipping Roma’s loss to Cagliari on Sunday due to suspension.
- Bryan Cristante is expected to resume with the Italians With Gianluca Mancini suspended. The left wing-back will be either Leonardo Spinazzola or Bruno Peres.
- Pedro and Nicolo Zaniolo are the only players likely to miss out for Roma.
- On Sunday, Roma was beaten 3-2 by Cagliari while Manchester United limped to a 0-0 draw with Leeds. Both teams haven’t had the ideal results ahead of Thursday’s semi-final first leg.
- Roma has lost their last two away games while United has won their last ten home games in all competitions.
- Despite the fact that this is their first competitive meeting since 2008, United is undefeated in the last five matches between the two teams.
- Roma has scored in all but one of their Europa League matches this season, and they will be happy with a narrow loss on Thursday if they could bring an away goal back to Italy for the second leg.
Over the course of this match, an interesting clash of cultures will unfold, as possession-oriented Roma – who have conceded more than anybody else in the top half of Serie A – face a Manchester United side that is most dangerous on the counter. The hosts’ confidence is surely stronger, as the Giallorossi has staggered their way through spring while in-form United manages to score goals from a number of outlets, allowing United to build a valuable lead to take to Rome next week.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani
Roma possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Cristante, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko
Our Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Roma