AS Roma looks to qualify for the round of 16 but have to beat a resolute RB Salzburg side

Roma look to overturn a 1-0 deficit against a spirited RB Salzburg team
AS Roma face Salzburg in the second leg in Rome

(Football news) Roma’s Europa League campaign is hanging on a fine line when they host Red Bull Salzburg at Stadio Olimpico on Thursday. The reverse fixture at Stadion Salzburg last week saw the Austrian side win 1-0 leaving Jose Mourinho’s team to produce a top performance on their home turf to turn the tie around. Mourinho’s side did perform well but they hit the woodwork twice, missed a lot of big chances and then were stunned by a well-directed Nicolas Capaldo 88th-minute header.

No side in this year’s competition has fashioned more opportunities than the Italians but on the other hand no team in Europa league has missed more chances than the Rome outfit. For a side trailing Salzburg they need to stamp their ruthlessness to avoid exiting from the Europa League early. They can draw inspiration from their goal scoring form on home soil in the tournament as they have found the back of the net seven times in the group stage. That tally is bettered by only four teams in the competition, giving supporters of the a hope for a comeback. Mourinho’s team must avoid the same mistakes from their only home loss in the competition, a 2-1 defeat by Real Betis, despite creating plenty of chances. 

Matthias Jaissle’s troops will back themselves against a team that has failed to score more than one goal in seven of their 11 games in 2023. The Austrian giants were unfortunate to be drawn into the same group as Chelsea and AC Milan in the Champions League as they ultimately ended third behind the pair despite going unbeaten in the opening four games of the group.

They may have fallen short of making the round of 16 in the Champions League for the second season on the trot but find themselves halfway through on the cusp of reaching the Europa League last 16 if they get the better of the Giallorossi in Rome. Jaissle’s free-scoring troops have netted in all but two games this season and that tendency to score against a team that intermittently struggles to convert their openings, will be interesting to watch

Roma possible starting lineup:

Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski, Cristante, Matic, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, El Shaarawy, Belotti

Red Bull Salzburg possible starting lineup:

Kohn; Dedic, Solet, Pavlovic, Ulmer; Capaldo, Gourna-Douath, Seiwald; Sucic; Okafor, Fernando

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