Roma travel to Trabzon in Tukey for the first match of the 2021/22 season, the first fixture in the Mourinho era. This is the 4th qualifying round of the inaugural UEFA Europa League conference tournament.
This is the first game for Roma under the Jose Mourinho era, the league campaign starts on Sunday evening at home to Fiorentina. With a strong pre-season under their belt and a strong start to the transfer campaign, Roma and Mourinho will be looking to come away from Turkey with a positive result.
There is a blow for Roma going into Thursday night clash in Trabzon as Chris Smalling has picked up a flexor muscle injury and will miss this game and Sunday night game against Fiorentina. New signing Tammy Abraham who signed from Chelsea, has not been called up to the matchday squad. He could make his debut on Sunday evening.
PREDICTED LINE UP | ROMA | 4-2-3-1
Rui Patricio, Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Vina, Veretout, Cristante, Zaniolo, Pellegrini, Shomurodov, Borja Mayoral.
Trabzonspor got through a tough 3rd qualifying round after defeating Norwegian side Molde FK on penalties. The first leg in Turkey ended in a 3-3 thriller with Trabzonspor taking the lead three times but were pegged back three times. The second leg in Norway ended 1-1 thanks to a 97th– minute equaliser from Bjorn Sigurdarson for the home side. With UEFA scrapping the away goals rule for all UEFA Competitions, this tie went to extra time and penalties. The Turkish side prevailed 5-4 on penalties with Anders Trondsen scoring the winning penalty.
Trabzonspor kicked of their Turkish Superliga campaign off in style on Monday evening with a 5-1 away win over Yeni Malatyaspor and sit top of the Turkish Superliga on goal difference after just one game. Two ex-Serie A players were on the scoresheet that night in Marek Hamsik and Gervinho.
Abdulla Avici is the Trabzonspor coach and has been the coach since November 10, 2020, after Eddie Newton was sacked after just winning 1 game in 7. Newton was only in charge 9 games, 2 as Temporary boss and 7 as permanent. Avici record in charge as Trabzonspor coach is excellent, in 37 games in charge in all competitions 21 wins, 12 draws and 4 defeats. He likes to play with a 4-2-3-1, a 4-1-4-1 and a 4-3-3.
PREDICTED LINE UP | TRABZONSPOR | 4-3-3
Cakir, Bruno Peres, Ie, Victor Hugo, Koybasi, Bakasetas, Hamsik, Ozdemir, Gervinho, Djanny, Nwakaeme.
This will be a compelling first leg of the tie, this is Jose Mourinho first official game in charge after a very good pre-season. Trabzonspor have started the season early and have 3 games under their belt and started strongly, I am expecting a tight compelling first leg in Turkey and will Roma be aware of the ex in Bruno Peres and Gervinho. Time will only tell.