Football News

Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen predicted XIs: Confirmed team news and probable line-ups

By Dean Smith

Published: 12:07, 2 May 2024

Roma entertain Bayer Leverkusen in the Europa League semi-final first leg at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday May 2nd.

The game kicks-off at 8pm and the match will be shown live in the UK on TNT Sports 2.

The two sides reconvene after also clashing at this stage in the competition last year. Then, Roma’s 1-0 first-leg win at home was enough to send them through as the second leg in Germany finished goalless.

Leverkusen will therefore be after revenge and they take on a Roma side that sits fifth in Serie A after an often-difficult campaign.

Daniele De Rossi’s men may still fancy their chances over two legs but they will have to be at their best to qualify as they look to book themselves a place in the final for a second successive year.

Roma advanced past Slavia Prague and then Serie A rivals AC Milan in the knockout rounds, while Leverkusen saw off Qarabag and West Ham to progress to this stage.

Will history repeat itself?

This time 12 months ago, the two sides were paired together in the semi-finals and experienced Italian side Roma, then led by the equally-experienced Jose Mourinho, were favourites to progress.

They did so thanks to Edoardo Bove’s second-half goal in the first leg in Roma, although Mourinho’s side would go on to lose to Sevilla on penalties in the final.

Then, Leverkusen were just about doing enough to finish sixth in the German top flight but fast forward a year and they are a different beast.

Alonso’s side have majestically swept to the Bundesliga title, winning it ahead of perennial champions Bayern Munich with five games to go, and they are yet to taste defeat at all this term.

They head into the semi as favourites this time around, reflective of their outstanding form this season.

In contrast, Roma are struggling in their bid to make the top four in Italy as they sit four points adrift of current fourth-placed Bologna in the table and lost 3-1 to them in their most recent home game in the Eternal City.


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Roma v Bayer Leverkusen team news

Roma right-back Zeki Celik is suspended but the hosts do have Bryan Cristante, Diego Llorente and Leandro Paredes back available again after they all served recent bans.

Captain Lorenzo Pellegrini will be given a late fitness test while key striker Romelu Lukaku should return to the starting line-up after missing Sunday’s trip to Napoli.

For Leverkusen, midfielder Granit Xhaka is back after his recent suspension and the former Arsenal man is expected to return to the XI.

Alonso has virtually a fully-fit squad to choose from, although Adam Hlozek and Borja Iglesias have been hampered by slight knocks recently and will be assessed ahead of the first leg.

Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen Predicted XIs:

Roma (4-3-3): Svilar; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ndicka, Spinazzola; Cristante, Paredes, Pellegrini; Dybala, Lukaku, El Shaarawy.

Bayer Leverkusen (3-4-2-1): Kovar; Kossounou, Tah, Hincapie; Stanisic, Palacios, Xhaka, Grimaldo; Tella, Wirtz; Boniface.

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