It is a finely poised tie as we go into the second leg of the UEFA Europa Conference League quarter-final between AS Roma and FK Bodo/Glimt. The Norwegian champions hold a slender 2-1 lead after a late winner swung the favour into the home side six days ago in Bodo.
Roma returned to league form and almost made a mess of a comfortable game on paper. Remember football is not played on paper but on grass. Roma hosted bottom side Salernitana who look destined to return back to Serie B at the first time of asking.
Roma was labouring in the late Roman sunshine to a nice backdrop of 64,266 in attendance to watch Roma play bottom of the side Salernitana. Wow, the Stadio Olimpico looked amazing, I wonder if the majority in attendance was thinking this was not going to be Jose Mourinho and Roma days as they were struggling against Davide Nicola Salernitana’s side.
But they must not have worried, two second-half goals in the matter of three second-half minutes won the game for Roma. Carles Perez‘s wonder strike from distance was followed up by Chris Smalling ghosting in at the back post from a Jordan Veretout set-piece to send the Stadio Olimpico into raptures. Roma are now unbeaten in eleven Serie A games and have now three on the spin against Lazio, Sampdoria, and Salernitana. All three crucial wins going into big games in Serie A against Napoli and Inter in the weeks to come.
Both Nuno Santos and Bodo/Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen will miss the game on Thursday after an altercation which the footage was picked up after the final whistle. Both are suspended from the touchline for one game. The footage was released today and in my opinion, is very inconclusive as to what did happen in the tunnel. Seems a storm in a teacup in the situation which was brewing.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (3-4-2-1)
Rui Patricio, Mancini, Smalling, Kumbulla, Karsdorp, Cristante, Sergio Oliveira, Zalewski, Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan, Abraham.
A very impressive first-leg performance from Kjetil Knusten FK Bodo/Glimt side last Thursday. He has come out on top in the three games so far, he has faced Jose Mourinho’s side. His FK Bodo/Glimt side returned to the Norwegian Eliteserien on Sunday afternoon in matchday two of the season.
After last week opening day draw against Rosenborg, FK Bodo/Glimt travelled to take on Sandefjord Fotball in round two of the Eliteserien. Knutsen side won 2-1 thanks to goals from Victor Boniface and a second-half winner fourteen minutes from time from the impressive Ulrik Saltnes gave FK Bodo/Glimt the three points.
After two games of the season, FK Bodo/Glimt are in the fourth position with four points from two games. Both Molde and Viking FK have 100% records after two games. FK Bodo/Glimt are one of three teams on four points after two games, along with Lillestrom and Rosenborg.
The win on Sunday did come at a cost as club captain Brede Moe and Amahl Pellegrino picked up injuries in the first half of the game away at Sandefjord Fotbal on Sunday, both are rated 50/50 for the Thursday game. The good news is that Ola Solbakken the chief tormentor in the 6-1 back in October, returned in the second half of the game and set up the winner.
PREDICTED XI | FK BODO/GLIMT (4-3-3)
Haikin, Sampstead, Hoibraten, Moe, Wembangomo, Hagen, Vetlesen, Saltnes, Solbakken, Koomson, Espejord.