AS Roma will take on Turkish side Trabzonspor on Thursday evening in the Italian capital in the second leg of the UEFA Europa League Conference playoff round. Roma take a 2-1 lead back to Rome and will be looking to advance into the group stages where the draw is being made on Friday afternoon.
AS Roma started the Serie A season in fine fashion on Sunday evening with a 3-1 home win over Fiorentina. I was very impressed with the first outing in Serie A under Jose Mourinho. The debut of Tammy Abraham was excellent, he led the line well and caused the Viola defense a lot of problems. Backed it up with two excellent assists for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jordan Veretout, was unlucky not to score himself after his header rattled the crossbar. All in all, it was a very good performance from Abraham and from Roma.
There is one negative apart from Nicolò Zaniolo sending off. We are missing a defensive midfielder for José’s style of football, someone who is disciplined to stay in front of the back 4 and do the defensive work and help in attack when needed. Hopefully, that will get resolved before the transfer window.
Credit to Fiorentina and to the new coach Vincenzo Italiano, on any other day they could have got a draw from that game on Sunday evening. Gave Roma problems after the sending off, of Bartlomiej Dragowski. Italiano switched to a 3-4-2 and pushed both full-backs high up the pitch and caused Mourinho and Co. problems. The Viola will be a team to watch out for this season.
PREDICTED LINEUP | ROMA (4-2-3-1)
Rui Patricio, Karsdorp, Ibanez, Mancini, Vina, Villar, Diawara, Zaniolo, Pellegrini, Perez, Shomurodov.
Trabzonspor will be looking to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg. They put the disappointment of last Thursday’s home defeat behind them with a 2-1 home win over Sivasspor in the Turkish Superliga on Monday evening. Anastasios Bakasetas opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Anthony Nwakaeme doubled the lead two minutes into the second half. Former Chievo and Genoa midfielder Isaac Cofie pulled one back for Sivasspor to no avail. It’s two from two for Abdullah Avci side in the Turkish Superliga.
Yesterday it was confirmed that Trabzonspor had confirmed the loan signing of Dutch defender Stefano Denswill. Another player of Serie A experience will be playing his trade in Trabzon. With Bruno Peres, Victor Hugo, Marek Hamsik, Gervinho, Andreas Cornelius, and now Denswill that would make 6 players who have played in Serie A now and playing for Trabzonspor.
PREDICTED LINEUP | TRABZONSPOR (4-2-3-1)
Cakir, Bruno Peres, Ie, Victor Hugo, Asan, Ozdemir, Hamsik, Gervinho, Bakasetas, Nwakaeme, Cornelius.
This should be a compelling second leg in Rome, both sides are in great form at the start of the 2021/22 season. Jose Mourinho will be looking for a third win in a row going into the game on Sunday away in Salerno. Abdullah Avci’s side will be looking to spoil the party and cause an upset and progress to the group stage of the UECL.