Roma hold a 2-0 lead on aggregate over out-of-form Real Sociedad.
On Thursday night, Reale Arena will be the host for a mouth-watering clash between Real Sociedad and AS Roma as Mourinho’s men look to make it to the Quarterfinals of the UEFA Europa League.
Real Sociedad were beaten 2-0 in the first leg against Roma, and have now won just one of their seven matches against Italian sides in European competition (D2, L4). Although they sit at 4th in the La Liga table, their league form has succumbed in the past few weeks as draws against Cadiz and Mallorca and a defeat against Valencia now sees them having just a 3-point lead over Real Betis. Imanol Alguacil and his men will have to pull their socks if they have any hopes of turning this tie upside down.
Roma have progressed from all five of their previous two-legged ties in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League when winning the first leg, with one of those being a 4-1 aggregate victory over Spanish opponents Villarreal in 2016-17. A big week awaits the Giallorossi as a trip to Spain beckons followed by a huge clash at home against Lazio in the Serie A. They are within touching distance of AC Milan in the race for the top four in Serie A as they find themselves behind by just a solitary point after 26 games.
Friday, 17-03-2023, 01:30 am (IST)
Thursday, 16-03-2023, 08:00 pm (GMT)
Real Sociedad form (all competitiona): D-L-D-L-D
AS Roma form (all competitiona): L-W-W-L-W
Player to watch
Brais Mendez has created 16 chances for a teammate in the UEFA Europa League this season, more than twice as many as any other Real Sociedad player (Robert Navarro, 7). He has had a stellar season and Alguacil will be banking on him to provide the goods.
Tammy Abraham is the perfect, all-around modern centre forward. Playing as a target man due to his height, he has also played as a more complete CF at Roma and Chelsea, using his hold-up and link-up play to get more involved in the buildup. He has a goal and an assist in the UEFA Europa League this season.
- Half of Real Sociedad’s goals conceded in the UEFA Europa League came in the first leg against Roma (2/4), while their Xg against a total of 1.97 was more than in their previous five games in the competition combined.
- Roma Manager Jose Mourinho has only lost two of his 16 games in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League (W11, D3).
Injury and team news
Umar Sadiq has been on the sideline for quite a while now and his return date is unknown as he faced a cruciate ligament rupture back in September 2022. Elustondo will also miss out against Roma due to an ankle injury which makes the possibility of Le Normand and Pacheco starting in defence. Oyarzabal and Carlos Fernandez are likely to start up front.
Club captain Lorenzo Pellegrini will miss the trip to Spain with a contused laceration. Forward Andrea Belotti is also a miss for this fixture which makes Dyabala and Abraham pairing a forerunner upfront. Diego Llorente, and Solbakken are also out for this fixture but they were likely to make the bench even if they made the trip to Spain.
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Real Sociedad: 0
AS Roma: 1
Real Sociedad predicted lineup (4-1-3-2):
Remiro; Gorosabel, Le Normand, Pacheco, Rico; Zubimendi; B. Mendez, D. Silva, M. Merino; Oyarzabal, C. Fernandez
AS Roma predicted lineup (3-4-2-1):
R. Patricio; Ibanez, Smalling, Kumbulla; Zalewski, Bove, Matic, Spinazzola; Dybala, El Shaarawy; Abraham
Real Sociedad will have to get rid of their poor form in the past few weeks and show the glare they have had at the beginning of the season if they are to beat a resurgent Roma outfit. Italian sides have had the better of Spanish opposition in this competition and it is very likely that a draw can turn out to be an appropriate result in this fixture with AS Roma winning the overall tie.
Prediction: Real Sociedad 2-2 AS Roma.
India- Sony Sports Network.
UK- BT Sport.
Nigeria- No forecast.
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