After losing the first leg of this UEFA Europa League (UEL) quarterfinal encounter 1-0, Roma’s 3-0 victory against Udinese at the weekend brought them one step closer to competing in Europe’s top league next season. It also served as the ideal confidence boost. The team of José Mourinho is clearly capable of overturning a deficit; earlier in the tournament, they defeated Salzburg 2-0 at home after losing 1-0 to them on the road.
Roma could benefit from playing at the Stadio Olimpico again following their remarkable run of seven triumphs in a row with no opposition in their past eight competitive games in the capital. The Giallorossi’s eight-game unbeaten streak against Dutch opposition, however, came to an end in the first leg (W4, D4, L1), as each of the home games during that span ended level.
With a convincing 3-0 victory at Cambuur, Eredivisie league leaders Feyenoord moved closer to breaking their five-year domestic league title drought. They have another exhausting away trip in store for them when they head to Italy, but the UEL leading scorers (G22) will be encouraged by the prospect of Roma’s productive combo of Paulo Dybala and Tammy Abraham being absent.
Feyenoord’s exceptional road performance, which has seen them lose only once in tough away matches since the start of October 2022 (W9, D5, L1), will give them even more confidence. However, the European results during that stretch don’t exactly inspire confidence (D2, L1), and the Rotterdam team is currently attempting to halt a terrible 14-game losing streak of UEL proper away games (D6, L8).
Georginio Wijnaldum, a Rotterdam native who plays for Roma, will take on his previous team for the eleventh time in this match. Although he has only contributed to two goals against his former team (W4, L5), he has never played to a scoreless draw against them. With three consecutive assists, three goals, and the same number of assists this UEL season, Oussama Idrissi could prove to be the driving force for Feyenoord.
Although Jose Mourinho has been concerned about the health of his first-choice attackers, it is anticipated that Paulo Dybala, Roma’s co-leading scorer in the Europa League with three goals, will be ready to play on Thursday.
Tammy Abraham appears to have recovered from a shoulder injury sustained in Rotterdam, while Ola Solbakken and Rick Karsdorp, a former player for Feyenoord, are still out.
After being relegated to a cameo in the second half at De Kuip, Georginio Wijnaldum, who started his professional career with Thursday’s opponents and scored 25 goals in 135 games for the club between 2007 and 2011, will look to gain promotion to the starting XI.
Nemanja Matic and Roger Ibanez should re-enter the starting lineup after receiving respite over the weekend, with Diego Llorente and Stephan El Shaarawy among those leaving.
Justin Bijlow, the first-choice goalkeeper for Feyenoord, returned from a wrist injury for the first leg and will start again in Rome.
The only important selection conflict for the Dutch league leaders on their right wing is between Alireza Jahanbakhsh and Igor Paixao. The former started against Roma last week, while the latter was chosen on Sunday. Arne Slot’s midfield trio will be led by captain Orkun Kokcu.
Quinten Timber is Slot’s lone injured absentee once more, and the former AZ manager will start his team in the traditional 4-3-3 shape.
Roma possible starting lineup
Patricio, Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez, Zalewski, Matic, Wijnaldum, Spinazzola, Pellegrini, Dybala, and Abraham.
Feyenoord possible starting lineup
Bijlow, Geertruida, Trauner, Hancko, Hartman, Kokcu, Wieffer, Szymanski, as well as Jahanbakhsh, Gimenez, and Idrissi.
Roma defeats Feyenoord 1-0 (Feyenoord prevails on penalties)
Roma, who has recently become an expert at winning without giving up, will be confident that they can make up the deficit in a packed Stadio Olimpico, but overall success may eventually be beyond them.
Feyenoord may instead face Bayer Leverkusen or Union Saint-Gilloise in the semi-finals next month due to their outstanding team and winning attitude.