Roma will entertain Liverpool on Wednesday night with a date with destiny on their hands.
Trailing from the first leg 5-2, Roma will have it all to do. We have been here before in the Quarterfinal against Barcelona and the rest is history. Can Roma do it all again?
Roma is going into this game against Liverpool on the back of another Serie A win after back to back wins in Serie A against Genoa and SPAL. Roma made it three from three on Saturday evening with a comfortable 4-1 home win over relegation-threatened Chievo. Patrik Schick, Edin Dzeko brace, and a well-deserved Stephan El Shaarawy goal gave Roma a 4-0 lead. But late in the game, Chievo pulled a late consolation goal thanks to a Roberto Inglese close-range header. Earlier in the second half, Inglese did have a penalty kick saved from Alisson after Juan Jesus was sent off for a professional foul in the penalty box. Roma did play thirty-five minutes with ten men and it really didn’t affect them.
That was a confidence-building win going into Wednesday game after Tuesday night horror show and it showed that the midweek result in Saturday performance didn’t hinder them.
Liverpool were truly magnificent on Tuesday night after getting used to Roma high pressing and took the game to the Roman side and just bullied them. Time after time Liverpool got in behind Roma back three and fullback and exploited the wide areas. But with Liverpool this season the run out of gas and Roma hit them twice with a sucker punch.
Going into Wednesday game, Liverpool league form has been a bit patchy dropping points in both matches. Over the weekend Liverpool were held 0-0 by a resolute Stoke side who are fighting for their Premier League survival. Liverpool found it hard to break down Stoke stubborn defense and then were nearly caught out in the dying moments of the game where Biram Mane Diouf cross found Ryan Shawcross at the back post but he could only divert the cross just wide of the upright.
A big blow for Liverpool in Tuesday night game was the injury to Alex Oxlade Chamberlain who picked up a serious knee injury after a sliding challenge on Aleksandr Kolarov. The former Arsenal man was settling in nicely into the midfield role after his summer move. He was crucial for Liverpool in their Champions League win over Manchester City in the previous role.
I can’t see Roma going back to the 3-4-2-1 formation which was used midweek and it had its pitfalls. The suicidal defensive high line just played into Liverpool hands and it didn’t help the Roma midfield went missing halfway through the first half, Liverpool midfield three just overran them.
I expect to see a different Roma, by going back to the 4-3-3 formation and trying to match up to Liverpool. It should be a compelling game and could Liverpool be the first team in European competition this season to score at the Stadio Olimpico.