Soccer UEFA Europa League - Play-Offs Prediction
Bayer Leverkusen vs AS Roma - Match Preview
⚽ 18 May 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
As they look to reach the finals of the UEFA Europa League (UEL) and attempt to correct the unwanted ‘Neverkusen’ tag, Bayer Leverkusen needs to overturn the 1-0 loss from the semi-final first leg against Roma. Coach Xabi Alonso indicated “nothing is lost” after their defeat in the Eternal City, but Die Werkself have fallen out of form at the wrong time, failing to win any of their last four matches (D2, L2)
A return to the BayArena should stoke the fire as Leverkusen has won five of their last seven home matches in all competitions (D1, L1). That loss did come in their last game here against Cologne, so Alonso’s men have work to do to get back on the winning trail, especially as they’ve lost all their last seven UEFA meetings against Italian sides - a run that needs to end here if they’re to reach a first European final since 2002.
José Mourinho has guided his Roma side to the brink of a second European final in as many years, and as the Giallorossi have a tremendous record of winning ten of their last 11 European ties following a 1-0 success in the first leg at home (L1), he’ll certainly be confident of reaching this year’s final in Budapest. That lone exception did come against a Bundesliga club, but Mourinho will be more concerned about their failure to score in each of their last three European away ties (D1, L2), with both those defeats coming by a 1-0 scoreline.
A repeat would send this tie into extra-time, which would be another huge test for a squad that has “reached their limit”, according to Mourinho. Fatigue is starting to show in their performances as a 0-0 draw at Bologna last time out made it one win from six in all competitions (D3, L2) and left them six points adrift of the top-four, making progression in the UEL their best route back to the Champions League at this stage.
📋 Players to watch: Leverkusen playmaker Florian Wirtz has five goal contributions in this UEL campaign (G3, A2) contributions, including their last home strike in the competition. From the visiting camp, Tammy Abraham had a busy first leg (A1, YC1) and will look to add to his single UEL goal which came in an away win.
⚡ Hot stat: Roma has lost five of their last six (D1) UEFA visits to Germany, which included a 3-1 H2H defeat in 2004.
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