Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma: UEL Semi-final, 2nd Leg Match Preview, Predicted Line-ups and Fantasy XI

Italians hold the advantage after the first leg semi-final, but find out who is going to make to the final during Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma.

Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma | Sportz Point

It's the Italian giants who hold the advantage after the first leg of this UEFA Europa League semi-final, but find out who is going to make it through to the final during Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma.

Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma: Match Preview

While Bayer Leverkusen have lost just once in their last 11 away matches across all competitions, that sole reverse came in surely the most important game of all - their semi-final first-leg clash in Rome last Thursday.

Having now been beaten in each of their last seven UEFA competition contests versus Serie A sides, the Rhine club cannot afford to let that streak continue in this week's return, as only victory offers a route through to the Europa League final, to be held at Budapest's Puskas Arena on the last day of May.

Leverkusen vs Roma | Sportz Point.

Bove scored the only goal in the first leg (Image- BBC)

Over the past decade, only three teams have gone on to progress after losing their semi-final opener, but Leverkusen have already beaten both RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich at home this season - in addition to toppling Atletico Madrid during the Champions League group stage.

Head coach Xabi Alonso - who was managed by Roma boss Jose Mourinho for three seasons at Real Madrid - recently led his team to a 14-game unbeaten run in all competitions, which featured 10 wins and drew interest in the rookie coach's services from several clubs across the continent.

However, Sunday's 1-1 draw with Bundesliga strugglers Stuttgart followed two defeats already suffered this month. As a result, Die Werkself have won none of their last four matches, and as they sit seventh in the domestic standings, winning the Europa League could also provide their best route back into continental competition.

Since dropping out of the Champions League last autumn, Leverkusen have eliminated Monaco, Ferencvaros and Union Saint-Gilloise to travel this far in Europe's second-tier tournament, and they will surely believe their deficit can be overturned; securing a first UEFA final since 2002.

Mourinho has sought to sign experienced pros with proven records in Europe - such as Nemanja Matic, Paulo Dybala and Georginio Wijnaldum - it was one of several young guns in the Roma squad who decided matters at Stadio Olimpico last week.

Roman midfielder Edoardo Bove struck just after the hour-mark of a tense encounter, and the 20-year-old's finish proved enough to put the Giallorossi in front halfway through their latest semi-final tie.

Though they were knocked out by Manchester United in the Europa League semis in 2021, Roma saw off Leicester City at the same stage of the Conference League last year on their way to lifting the trophy.

Mourinho now aims to guide his side to a second continental final in as many years, and a potential victory in Hungary may either prove the perfect parting gift or alternatively keep him in the Eternal City thanks to the Champions League place that would accompany it.

Always a formidable operator in Europe, the Portuguese coach has continued Roma's tradition of success on home soil in UEFA competition - they have now won 15 of their last 17 knockout matches at the Olimpico, drawing the other two - but they are generally a less formidable proposition on their travels.

On their most recent road trip, to Emilia-Romagna, the Giallorossi played out a goalless draw with Bologna to sit sixth in Serie A and remain unsure of a European place for next season following five games without a league win.

Defeats in Razgrad, Rotterdam and Salzburg en route to the Europa League semi-finals have also shown they can be beaten by a side with the right gameplan.

Team News:

Bayer Leverkusen:

After neither featured in Leverkusen's lineup at the weekend, both Odilo Kossounou and Robert Andrich - who were withdrawn due to injury in Rome - remain doubts for Xabi Alonso ahead of Thursday's second leg.

Should they be unable to return, Kerem Demirbay and Mitchel Bakker would most likely keep their respective places; with the latter operating on the left flank and Jeremie Frimpong patrolling the right.

There remains strong competition for places in attack, and after Sardar Azmoun started and star man Florian Wirtz was rested on Sunday, their roles should be reversed; Adam Hlozek and Amine Adli go head-to-head to join Wirtz alongside Moussa Diaby in the hosts' front three.

Long-term absentees Patrik Schick and Karim Bellarabi - the latter of whom recently confirmed he would soon be leaving the club after 12 years - will have to watch on from the stands.


Roma, though, hope to have two integral cogs in their machine available at the BayArena - albeit only from the bench. Paulo Dybala and Chris Smalling have both returned to training, and the English defender now seems set to make his return from a three-week layoff.

Bryan Cristante should fill his place from the start though, deputising at the heart of the visitors' back three, while Zeki Celik is expected to recover from a muscular injury which forced him off in Bologna in time for the trip to Germany.

As Dybala is unlikely to play, Andrea Belotti, Tammy Abraham and Ola Solbakken must fight it out for selection up front.

Predicted Line-ups:

Leverkusen: Hradecky; Tapsoba, Tah, Hincapie; Frimpong, Palacios, Demirbay, Bakker; Diaby, Wirtz, Adli

Roma: Rui Patrício; Mancini, Cristante, Ibañez; Çelik, Bove, Matić, Spinazzola; Bove, Pellegrini, Wijnaldum; Abraham

BAY vs ASR: Fantasy XI

Hradecky; Tapsoba, Mancini, Cristante, Palacios, Bove, Matić, Pellegrini, Diaby, Wirtz, Abraham

Uefa Europa League Roma Bayer 04 Leverkusen