Manchester United return to UEFA Europa League action this evening when they welcome AS Roma to Old Trafford. This will be the fourth time the Italian club has been to the Theatre of Dreams and they have only lost there; one match 7-1 in the Champions League during the 2006/07 season. This Roma side won’t be as easy to overcome though and United will need to be at their best following the 0-0 draw against Leeds. That said, the Italian side are not inn the best for form, not winning any of their last four matches. But inn this competition, their Serie A form will go out of the window as they want to win.
United could find themselves up against both Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who both play for the Giallorossi. They will also face up against former Manchester City striker Edin Džeko and former Chelsea winger Pedro, who was one the radar of United under the management of Louis van Gaal. United will be looking to do things right in the semi-final this time, it being the sixth semi-final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the second in the competition over the past two seasons. Solskjaer and United will want to win this trophy this season, getting his first across the line in his managerial career at the Old Trafford club.
Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;
Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba;
Grant, Henderson; Bailly, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Diallo, James, Matic, Van de Beek; Greenwood
Smalling, Cristante, Ibanez;
Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Spinazzola;
Mirante, Fuzato, Villar, Santon, Mayoral, Kumbulla, Perez, Peres, Ciervo, Darboe
United and Roma have met six times in the history of European competition, meeting each other in the UEFA Champions League and never in the UEFA Europa League. United have won four times, drawing once and losing once. The Red Devils have scored a total of 13 goals, conceding four and keeping three clean sheets. The first time the two clubs met was at the quarter-final stage of the Champion League during the 2006/07 season, losing 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico but winning 7-1 (8-3 ons aggregate) at Old Trafford a week later. They then met in the group stages of the competition during the 2007/08 season, winning 1-0 at the Theatre of Dreams and drawing 1-1 at the Stadio Olimpico.
The last time United met Roma was in the quarter-final during the 2007/08 season, making it four meetings between the two clubs that season. United won 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, winning 1-0 (3-0 on aggregate) at Old Trafford, making the semi-finals that season where they beat Barcelona 1-0 on aggregate over two legs and went on the beat Chelsea on penalties in the final in Moscow. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer featured against Roma in the first two matches played. Wayne Rooney scored four goals, Cristiano Ronaldo scored three, Michael Carrick scored twice, with Patrice Evra Gerard Piqué, Alan Smith and Carlos Tevez all scoring once.
Written by John Walker