Struggling with their inconsistent results. Roma make the trip to Spain to lock horns with Real Betis in a crucial Europa League group-stage match on Thursday evening.
It will be a difficult encounter for both teams, but even more for the visitors, with the Giallorossi internally wounded with recurring injury issues. With three points from three games, Jose Mourinho’s side currently stands third and is one point behind the second spot, the key to qualifying for the knock-out stage of the competition.
Betis have won five of their last six games across all competitions, When these two teams met in Rome last week, the team from Spain had the last laugh, with a 10-man Roma side falling to a 2-1 defeat.
Results in the last five matches
Real Betis: W-W-L-W-D
The home side doesn’t have many concerning fitness issues, with Juanmi being their only absentee as they host Roma. Willian José should start the game for Los Verdiblancos. Former Lazio defender Luiz Felipe and former Fiorentina centre-back Germán Pezzella are also available for selection.
As for Roma, the situation continues to deteriorate, with Paulo Dybala returning to the treatment table and now at risk of missing out on the upcoming World Cup for Argentina. Their current list of absentees includes Georginio Wijnaldum, Zeki Celik, Rick Karsdorp, and Paulo Dybala. Nicolò Zaniolo will serve his suspension on Sunday after getting sent off the Giallorossi’s 2-1 defeat to Betis.
Real Betis (4-2-3-1): Bravo; Aitor Ruibal, Pezzella, Luiz Felipe, Miranda; Guardado, William Carvalho; Joaquín, Canales, Rodri; Willian José.
Roma (3-4-1-2): Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski, Cristante, Matic, Spinazzola; Pellegrini; Belotti, Abraham.
Considering that Ludogorets would beat HJK, a win might now give Roma the second spot on Thursday. But it will surely keep the contest open for the first three teams in the respective group. Therefore, winning at any cost should be the top priority for Mourinho’s men.
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder