Football News

Leicester v Roma predicted XIs: Team news as “classically-English” Foxes prepare for Jose Mourinho

By Harry Edwards

Leicester v Roma predicted XIs: Team news as "classically-English" Foxes prepare for Jose Mourinho

Published: 16:29, 26 April 2022

Leicester City will be looking to take a big step towards the Europa Conference League final when they host Roma in the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday at 8pm (UK time).

The Foxes haven’t had the easiest of runs to the semi-finals, having to beat Rennes and PSV Eindhoven after thrashing Randers in the knockout round play-offs, initially dropping down from the Europa League group stage. Roma, meanwhile, got their revenge over Bodo/Glimt last time out with a 5-2 aggregate win having lost to the Norwegian side in the group stage, while also beating Vitesse in the last 16.

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Leicester team news vs Roma:

  • Outs: Wilfred Ndidi, Ryan Bertrand, Boubakary Soumare

Leicester are in the semi-finals of a European competition for the first ever time, beating their previous best of a run to the Champions League quarter-finals in 2016/17 when they were defending English champions. Since that foray into the top tier of European football, Leicester have started two campaigns in the Europa League but they haven’t gone as well.

Last season they bowed out at the last 32 stage, beaten 2-0 by Slavia Prague, while this time around they finished third in their group to drop down to the Europa Conference League. Despite this, Roma winger Nicolo Zaniolo is wary of Leicester’s threat – or, the threat of a classically English side.

“It is a European semi-final, so naturally it’s going to be tough,” he told UEFA’s website.

“Leicester run hard, they are a very physical, classically-English side. However, we are Roma, we proved this season we can fight it out with anyone and we have no fear.”

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Predicted Leicester XI vs Roma:

  • Schmeichel; Pereira, Fofana, Soyuncu, Castange; Mendy; Maddison, Dewsbury-Hall, Tielemans, Barnes; Vardy. (4-1-4-1)

Roma team news vs Leicester:

  • Ins: Nicolo Zaniolo, Bryan Cristante

Zaniolo missed Roma’s defeat to Inter Milan at the weekend both through suspension and injury, but the Italian is expected to return to the XI on Thursday – and he’s eyeing European glory this season.

“Mourinho is one of the best coaches in the world! He drilled into everyone the art of never giving up, always being on your toes, uniting as one to bring home results,” he said.

“We hope to win something with him. With a coach who knows how to win, I think we’ve got a better chance. Winning the Conference League would make us very proud, but it’d be a starting point and not a conclusion. I will admit, 14 years without a trophy is too long.”

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Predicted Roma XI vs Leicester:

  • Patricio; Smalling, Mancini, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Mkhitaryan, Cristante, Pellegrini, Zalewski; Zaniolo, Abraham. (3-5-2)