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Ratings: De Gea and Cavani were the light in Rome. United lost the match 3-2 but won 8-5 on aggregate; Gdansk here we come

Manchester United were beaten 3-2 by AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening, but won the semi-final 8-5 on aggregate to reach the final of the UEFA Europa League where they will face Spanish side Villarreal in Gdansk on Wednesday 26 May 2021. Edinson Cavani opened the scoring in the 39th minute of the match with United leading at the break. In three minutes in the second half Edin Džeko and Bryan Cristante put Roma in the lead. Cavani then levelled in the 68th minute for United. The draw was not enough for Roma with Nicola Zalewski scoring the winner seven minutes from time.

United started out well against Roma but the Italian side soon got themselves into the match and threatened United with David De Gea performing a great save to deny them from their first goal of the match. United got forward a few times with Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani both playing well but the Uruguayan, who had a good shot on goal, missed the target, which was a shame. In the 18th minute of the match, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was booked for a challenge, meaning he will need to keep his head this evening. Roma had a few more chances on goal but De Gea held firm. Chris Smalling had to go off injured in the 30th minute.

United opened the scoring in the match in the 39th minute through none other than Edinson Cavani, who scored his 13th goal of the season. A wonderful flick from Bruno Fernandes ended up with the ball being played into Fred. The Brazilian then found the feet of Cavani who took a touch of the ball before sending it into the neck of the net with his right foot. Antonio Mirante was only able to watch the ball hit the back of his net. Roma were in a precarious position with a five-goal deficit with this goal but United will not be happy with just one goal. They should ideally be seeking to score another, nullifying Roma’s away goals from last week.

United had a few more chances to double their lead before the end of the first half, which had three minutes added on. Solskjaer will take his team into the dressing room and it will probably be less fierce in there than it was at Old Trafford last week with United 2-1 down at the end of the first half. Fernandes was a player that was involved a lot in the build up of chances, also being at the end of others. He had a great chance to get a goal in the first half but tried something spectacular and it did not work for him – ending up in a heap in the penalty box. But it was not the end of the world for him. He will get more chances in this match.

Solskjaer made a double substitution during the break with saw Luke Shaw and Wan-Bissaka replaced by Alex Telles and Brandon Williams. It may not have been the best thought out change as Roma seemed to be getting the better of both fullbacks as they equalised through Edin Džeko on the 57th minute then took the lead through Lorenzo Pellegrini three minutes later. If it was not for De Gea making some great saves, Džeko could have scored a hat-trick with Roma back in the hunt of making the final of the UEFA Europa League this season. As it stands though, United were still 7-4 up on aggregate and needing a few goals themselves.

In the 68th minute of the match, United drew level on the evening through Cavani, scoring his 14th goal of the season, assisted by Fernandes, with his 17th assist of the season. Despite a shocking period of the match where United conceded two goals in three minutes, United seemed to weather the storm and score a second goal themselves, which is all they needed to do, eradicating Roma’s away goals from last week. Cavani was seemingly on a hat-trick but he was replaced by Marcus Rashford in the 74th minute of the match with United watching themselves and possibly utilising Rashford to keep them in with a chance of scoring goals.

United conceded a third goal in the 83rd minute of the match through debutant Nicola Zalewski, who was assisted by Davide Santon. It was the goal that put Roma 3-2 up on the night but still 8-5 down on aggregate. 13 goals had been scored in the semi-final clash over the two legs, which shows the ability of both teams. United needed to watch themselves though as De Gea was becoming the Man of the Match, despite the goals scored as he had saved so many more. Solskjaer made his fifth substitution in the 84th minute of the match with Juan Mata replacing Fernandes, who perhaps could have been rested a lot earlier in the match.

The match seemed to drop off a little as Roma saw the clock run down, along with the fact they still need three more goals from this match. Brandon Williams was booked in the second minute of added time, United’s fourth booking of the match. It was a shame United lost this match but winning 8-5 on aggregate is not something to be laughed at as the work was done in the first leg of the match. United will face Villarreal in the final of the UEFA Europa League in Gdansk, Poland as Arsenal could not score a single goal at home to add to the goal they scored in their 2-1 defeat in the first leg. No European football for Arsenal, unless there is a miracle.

United will now get themselves ready for the Premier League clash with Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday, which is going to be a must-win match for Solskjaer’s side with them needing to secure a second-placed finish in the league this season. United then face Leicester City at Old Trafford two days later, then Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams two days after that – a rescheduled match from last Sunday after the match was postponed. United will then have four days rest before facing Fulham at Old Trafford on the 18th May with five days before their final league match of the season away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

The Spanish number one made many great saves to deny Roma in the first half of the match. He conceded twice in three minutes, which made United change the game with Cavani getting an equaliser. Conceded a third in the 83rd minute which saw United lose on the night but advance 8-5 on aggregate.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

The right back was booked in the 18th minute for a challenge. He did what he needed to do in defence but was replaced by Williams during the half time break.

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3 Eric Bailly

He was not good enough this evening. He has a lot of work to challenge to become the partner of Maguire. Conceded many fouls and did not do well against Džeko.

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5 Harry Maguire

Made a few good clearances when Roma pressured United. I think Lindelof will play next to him in the final. That partnership is more assured at this time.

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23 Luke Shaw

Did well in the first half as United got forward a lot of the time but also saw many Roma chances, getting caught out a few times. Was replaced by Telles at the break.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Made a rare start. Pushed out to the left as he did not do well in midfield. Created something for Fernandes but that was all. Needs more time on the pitch to gain momentum.

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17 Fred

Got an assist for Cavani's opener. Seemed t revert back to the Fred we normally see after that. Booked too, which was not great for United.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Got two chances on goal either side of the break. The experience from tonight will go a long way for him. I feel he should have at least scored one goal this evening. It was his 100th appearance and there will be many more ahead for him.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Did well with Cavani and got another assist to his name as Cavani scored his second of the evening. Did well as an attacking player. Was replaced by Mata in the 84th minute.

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6 Paul Pogba

The Frenchman played well in the first half, helping United to get forward. He was targeted a little by the Roma players. With two goals conceded on the evening and United needing to strengthen the midfield, at least defensively, Pogba was replaced by Matic, which happened in the 64th minute of the match.

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21 Edinson Cavani

The Uruguayan is in some great form at this stage of the season, which is great to see. He opened the scoring for United, firing his first goal in the 39th minute of the match. In the 57th and 60th minutes of the match, United conceded two goals. The Uruguayan put United level in the 68th minute of the match, scoring his 14th goal of the season but he was substitutes minutes later after being booked for an argument. It would have been a great evening for him to score a hat-trick.

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Substitutes

27 Alex Telles

Replaced Shaw 46'. Did not do as well as Shaw, in fact, United were much weaker in defence with him on the pitch.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 46'. Saw a lot go action as Roma attacked on his side and scored twice. Had a shot of his own but it was a forgettable night for him.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Pogba 64'. Came on to shore up the midfield with United under the cosh. Did what he needed to do, despite United losing on the night.

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10 Marcus Rashford

Replaced Cavani 73'. Gave United some attacking spark but other than this being a run out for him, there was not much point him playing.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Fernandes 84'. Came on for a cameo. Did not really have enough time on the pitch to get stuck into the match.

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Goals: Edin Džeko 57′, Bryan Cristante 60′, Nicola Zalewski 83′; Edinson Cavani 39′, 68′

Assists: Pedro 57′, Lorenzo Pellegrini 60′, Davide Santon 83′; Fred 39′, Bruno Fernandes 68′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 46′), Bailly, Maguire, Shaw (Telles 46′); Van de Beek, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes (Mata 84′), Pogba (Matic 64′); Cavani (Rashford 73′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Henderson; Lindelof, Tuanzebe; Diallo, McTominay; Elanga

Bookings: Rick Karsdorp 72′, Bryan Cristante 84′; Aaron Wan-Bissaka 18′, Fred 58′, Edinson Cavani 72′, Brandon Williams 90+2′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Van de Beek, Fernandes and Cavani start against Roma; Rashford and Elanga on the bench

Manchester United face AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg this evening. Last week at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side came from 2-1 down to win 6-2 after a sublime second half which saw Bruno Fernandes complete his brace, Edinson Cavani score a brace, Paul Pogba with a great header and Mason Greenwood continue his rise to stardom. Roma were pushed aside and will need something short of a miracle to overturn this four-goal deficit and that is even before you think about whether United score or not. Paulo Fonseca’s side’s season looks to be over.

United will have had another week’s break by the time they play again after their Premier League clash with Liverpool was postponed on Sunday after the protest against the Glazer’s at both Old Trafford, which involved supporters getting into the stadium, and at the Lowry Hotel, where the players were ahead of the match. The match was initially delayed but then postponed on safety grounds with a new date for the match not yet confirmed. United will have five Premier League matches to fit into the next 20 days as the match will need to be played before the last matches in the league are played on the 23 May 2021.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw;

Van de Beek, Fred;

Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba;

Cavani

Substitutes:

Grant, Henderson; Lindelof, Telles, Williams, Tuanzebe; Mata, Diallo, Matic, McTominnay; Rashford, Elanga

AS Roma:

Mirante;

Karsdorp, Smalling, Ibanez, Peres;

Cristante, Mancini;

Pedro, Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan;

Dzeko

Substitutes:

Boer, Fuzato, Santon, Mayoral, Kumbulla, Bove, Ciervo, Darboe, Zalewski

United and Roma have met seven times in the history of the UEFA Champions League, playing six times and the UEFA Europa League, playing once. United have won five times, drawing once and losing once. The Red Devils have scored a total of 19 goals, conceding six 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.

Before last week, United last 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 scoring once.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: [4-1-2-1-2] Solskjaer to rest a number of players? In-form Cavani and Greenwood to lead the line against Roma?

Manchester United face AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday evening. Last week at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side came from 2-1 down to win 6-2 after a sublime second half which saw Bruno Fernandes complete his brace, Edinson Cavani score a brace, Paul Pogba with a great header and Mason Greenwood continue his rise to stardom. Roma were pushed aside and will need something short of a miracle to overturn this four-goal deficit and that is even before you think about whether United score or not. Paulo Fonseca’s side’s season looks to be over.

United will have had another week’s break by the time they play again after their Premier League clash with Liverpool was postponed on Sunday after the protest against the Glazer’s at both Old Trafford, which involved supporters getting into the stadium, and at the Lowry Hotel, where the players were ahead of the match. The match was initially delayed but then postponed on safety grounds with a new date for the match not yet confirmed. United will have five Premier League matches to fit into the next 20 days as the match will need to be played before the last matches in the league are played on the 23 May 2021.

How United have faired against AS Roma in European competition.

United and Roma have met seven times in the history of the UEFA Champions League, playing six times and the UEFA Europa League, playing once. United have won five times, drawing once and losing once. The Red Devils have scored a total of 19 goals, conceding six 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.

Before last week, United last 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 scoring once.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face AS Roma in the UEFA Europa League at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea is expected to keep his place in the team in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg at the Stadio Olimpico against AS Roma on Thursday evening. He will nneed to be at his best though as he conceded twice in the opening 34 minutes last week. Thwarting Edin Dzeko will be the big task though and the striker still has his ability to score goals, which is a big danger for the Italian side. De Gea could well leave United this summer after the birth of his daughter in the past few months and the fact that the club are ready to move on with Dean Henderson as the number one goalkeeper.

It would be good to see the Spanish goalkeeper leave the club after winning a trophy, which will be another big achievement for him despite the years of nothing before the club won the Emirates FA Cup under Louis Van Gaal and the EFL Cup and the Europa League under Jose Mourinho, who will become the Roma manager this summer after being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur in the past month. De Gea has won seven honours at United with three of them being the FA Community Shield, which is not a major trophy in my opinion. He has one Premier League title, one FA Cup, one EFL Cup and one UEFA Europa League to his name.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence need to have a good match against Roma, not capitulate like they did in the opening 34 minutes of the match last week. Solskjaer may want to make changes but there is only one I would make going into this match, then if they get the needed result, preferably two goals scored – nullifying the away goals Roma scored last week, more changes can be made. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should occupy the fullback places as they are the best in their position at this time. Shaw can have a say in the attacking on the left, which he has done all season with Wan-Bissaka concentrating on his defensive duties on the right.

Harry Maguire will start this match, commanding his backline and doing his best to ensure United make the final of the UEFA Europa League this season. I would allow Victor Lindelof to be rested, bringing in Eric Bailly for this match, giving him the chance to show what he can do and help to earn his place in the team back. His injury record, although with him being at the club for a shorter period of time, is comparable to that of Phil Jones, which is a shame. I though Bailly was the best defender at the club a few years back. He could still prove he is one of the best as long as he plays well and keeps his fitness, which is his major problem.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

United should ensure they field the midfield that is capable of the task ahead – securing United’s place in the UEFA Europa League final this season. United are in a good position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League based on their league position as they sit in second place six points clear of fourth with a game in hand over the two teams below them. That will only be confirmed when it is mathematically impossible for other teams to knock United out of the top four. Paul Pogba should start as his form over the last month has been positive and he has been capable of doing the business and helping to get the job done.

Nemanja Matic probably deserves a start in this match, of which United have the chance of resting some of the first-choice players, keeping them fresh for the remainder of the season with five Premier League matches left to play, this match and quote possibly the final of this competition. Matic can offer something to the midfield, despite his pace not being as good as it once was. Scott Mctominay should also start as he can help in the defensive duties but also get forward and cause some problems of his own in the final third of the pitch. United already have their foot in the door, now they need to get through it and shut it to ensure they get to Gdansk.

Attacking Midfield: Donny van de Beek

Donny van de Beek should start in the advanced position usually occupied by Bruno Fernandes against Roma. He is a capable player and needs to have some time on the pitch to show what he can do. The Dutchman has one goal and two assists to his name this season but has only played 32 times for the club, opening just 1,181 minutes on the pitch, which averages at just under 37 minutes per appearance. The 24-year-old is clearly part pf the bigger picture at United and is happy at the club, as stated by his compatriot and Manchester United Women player Jackie Groenen. I am sure Solskjaer has something in mind for the player.

He should start against Roma, which will give Fernandes a break ahead of the clash with Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday. Van de Beek has the ability to break into the box, without or without the ball and create something. That has not been well demonstrated at United, but it is something the player has done time and time again for both Ajax and the Netherlands. United’s midfield is packed at this moment in time which has led to the Dutchman being on the bench more often that starting matches. Hopefully he gets to play a meaningful match and gets to show his manager and teammates just what he can do on the pitch.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani was named the Player of the Month for April for the goals he scored during the month, which puts him in great form at the right time – the business end of the season. He was going to be rested against Liverpool on Sunday, if the match was played, which would have left him fresh for this match, which is still the position he and United are in. United will need him one Sunday, so the goal should be United getting two early goals, which would seal the victory for United, unless Roma were able to score seven goals on the evening, which would seem unlikely. Cavani is the best striker at the club and the hop is that he will remain at United.

Mason Greenwood should play alongside the Uruguayan against Roma as he has been in form at this stage of the season, taking his goalscoring tally to ten goals last week. Greenwood can learn a lot from Cavani and he has been doing that this season. United have one foot in the final of the UEFA Europa League and have seemingly ended their semi-final hoodoo at a good time. Winning a trophy this season will be a must and at this stage, unless Arsenal turn up against Villarreal, it could be the Spanish team in the final. Either would be fine though. Imagine beating Arsenal in Gdansk and ending their dreams of European football next season.

Substitutes: Lee Grant, Dean Henderson; Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Amad Diallo, Daniel James; Marcus Rashford

United can name 12 players on the bench for the Europa League which gives more options, not that United need those after winning the first leg 6-2. Solskjaer will probably have both Lee Grant and Dean Henderson on the bench in this match. It is expected that David De Gea will keep his place in this competition with Henderson seemingly now playing in the Premier League matches. In defence, United could have Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe available, should they need the reinforcement inn the second leg. It is possible that Solskjaer chooses to rest some of the players that I think will play in this match.

In midfield, Juan Mata, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Amad Diallo and Daniel James could all be available with no new injuries reported after last week’s match at the Theatre of Dreams. United should go out to score at least two away goals in this match, nullifying Roma’s away goals scored last week, which, providing United do not concede any goals before scoring, would put them six goals to the good which would seemingly see them into the final. In attack, with United short on this front with Anthony Martial on the sidelines through injury, Marcus Rashford could be the only experienced attacking player on the bench for this match. He was due to start against Liverpool one Sunday before the match was postponed.

Written by John Walker

Preview: United rested ahead of Roma semi-final second leg; 90 minutes from the final

AS Roma -v- Manchester United

UEFA Europa League

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Thursday 6 May 2021, KO 20:00 BST

Referee: Felix Brych Assistants: Mark Borsch, Stefan Lupp

Fourth Official: Felix Zwayer

VAR: Marco Fritz Assistant VAR: Sascha Stegemann

Manchester United face AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday evening. Last week at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side came from 2-1 down to win 6-2 after a sublime second half which saw Bruno Fernandes complete his brace, Edinson Cavani score a brace, Paul Pogba with a great header and Mason Greenwood continue his rise to stardom. Roma were pushed aside and will need something short of a miracle to overturn this four-goal deficit and that is even before you think about whether United score or not. Paulo Fonseca’s side’s season looks to be over.

United will have had another week’s break by the time they play again after their Premier League clash with Liverpool was postponed on Sunday after the protest against the Glazer’s at both Old Trafford, which involved supporters getting into the stadium, and at the Lowry Hotel, where the players were ahead of the match. The match was initially delayed but then postponed on safety grounds with a new date for the match not yet confirmed. United will have five Premier League matches to fit into the next 20 days as the match will need to be played before the last matches in the league are played on the 23 May 2021.

Manchester United: WDWWWW

AS Roma 6-2 W, Leeds United 0-0 D, Burnley 3-1 W, Granada 2-0 W, Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 W, Granada CF 2-0 W

AS Roma: LLLDLD

UC Sampdoria 2-0 L, Manchester United 6-2 L, Cagliari Calcio 3-2 L, Atalanta BC 1-1 D, Torino FC 3-1 L, AFC Ajax 1-1 D

Top Scorers: Four United players are responsible for scoring 68 goals so far this season with United scoring more than a 100 so far. Roma need a miracle to stop this team from scoring goals.

Manchester United Goals: 26 – Bruno Fernandes, 20 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Edinson Cavani, 10 – Mason Greenwood, 7 – Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 6 – Paul Pogba, 5 – Own Goal, Daniel James, 2 – Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 1 – Amad Diallo, Fred, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

In their last six matches, United have won five and drawn once, scoring 16 goals, conceding four and keeping three clean sheets. Obviously, this could have changed if the Liverpool match had gone ahead on Sunday, but it didn’t. United have a foot in the door to the final of the Europa League this season and will need to go out at the Stadio Olimpico with a view of scoring two goals, giving them a six-goal lead and eradicating those two goals scored against them at the Theatre of Dreams last week. Solskjaer will have the chance to rest some of his key players in this match with the clash with Aston Villa also one the horizon.

AS Roma Goals: 15 – Borja Mayoral, 12 – Edin Dzeko, Jordan Veretout, 10 – Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 8 – Lorenzo Pellegrini, 5 – Gianluca Mancini, Pedro, 3 – Carles Pérez, 2 – Ibañez, Marash Kumbulla, Bruno Peres, Leonardo Spinazzola, 1 – Riccardo Calafiori, Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara, Stephan El Shaarawy, Federico Fazio, Rick Karsdorp, Tommaso Milanese

Roma have not won a single match in their last six, drawing twice and losing four times. In the last six matches, they have scored seven goals, conceded 16 and kept no clean sheets. The club sit seventh in the Serie A this season and look set to miss out on the major European competitions, seemingly able to qualify for the play-off round of the UEFA Europa Conference League instead. Paulo Fonseca will leave the club at the end of the season with Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho taking over from him. The Special One has become the sacked one too many times recently and will need to show that he is capable of leading a team to glory.

Team News: United will be missing two players though injury but Sunday’s postponed match will have given them a brief period of rest ahead of this important match.

Phil Jones (knee) and Anthony Martial (knee) are the only two players to be out of action through injury for this match. With United’s match not going ahead on Sunday, Solskjaer’s side will be refreshed after their 6-2 victory at Old Trafford last Thursday. Solskjaer will have the benefit of being able to rest a few players for this match given the scoreline and United will need to effectively confirm their place in the UEFA Europa League final by scoring two away goals, therefore cancelling out Roma’s effort at the Theatre of Dreams last week. This could put United six goals ahead with Roma needing something of a miracle to head Gdansk on the 26 May.

Nicolò Zaniolo (cruciate ligament), Riccardo Calafiori (bicep), Jordan Veretout (bicep), Leonardo Spinazzola (bicep), Pau López (shoulder), Stephan El Shaarawy (unknown), Amadou Diawara (pubalgia) and Carles Pérez (muscular) all have problems ahead of the second leg of the semi-final against United. Roma will need something short of a miracle to overcome this deficit and reach the final in Gdansk on the 26 May. Gianluca Mancini was suspended for the clash at Old Trafford and he could be involved at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening. Paulo Fonseca will need to have a plan and United will be out to ruin it once again.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood to spearhead United’s attack against Roma? Donny van de Beek, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic to start?

Solskjaer already knows that be can rest some important players for this match, which at this stage of the season will be well received. United did not end up playing this weekend but the match will be factored in before the final weekend of Premier League matches, so resting players now will be something much-needed with five Premier League matches still to play, plus this one and the final if United did end up confirming their place. Edinson Cavani should start alongside Mason Greenwood as United should seek to score two away goals, therefore nullifying Roma’s chances of playing in the final in Gdansk this season.

Match Prediction: United have beaten Roma five times in European competition and are no stranger to humiliating them. United are just 90 minutes away from a UEFA Europa League final.

United and Roma have met seven times in the history of the UEFA Champions League, playing six times and the UEFA Europa League, playing once. United have won five times, drawing once and losing once. The Red Devils have scored a total of 19 goals, conceding six 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.

Before last week, United last 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 scoring once.

AS Roma 2-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW