Roma had a reality check against Ludogorets as they ran into a 2-1 defeat on the opening matchday of the 2022/23 UEFA Europa League. Now, following a victory at the weekend, Jose Mourinho’s men will look to strive for glory against HJK Helsinki.
The general feeling around the Italian capital suggests that it will be a packed Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening. In terms of recent results. Helsinki are on a better run, although they suffered a 2-0 humbling against Real Betis in the first round of Europa League group-stage fixtures.
After making a sluggish start to their new season, Roma fared well against Empoli on Monday, racking up a 2-1 triumph away from home. A heavily-reinforced side, the Giallorossi are on a learning curve under Mourinho as they seek some consistency amid the hectic schedule in a World Cup year.
Results in the last five matches in all competitions:
As confirmed by Mourinho, Rui Patricio will start the game in goal. In defence, Matías Viña should replace Chris Smalling, who seemingly deserves a rest. Among the absentees, there are Georginio Wijnaldum, Marash Kumbulla, and Stephan El Shaarawy.
The visitors are without their three long-term absentees in Roope Riski, Valtteri Moren, and Manuel Martic.
Roma (3-4-1-2): Rui Patricio; Ibanez, Mancini, Vina; Karsdorp, Matic, Pellegrini, Spinazzola; Dybala; Zaniolo, Abraham.
Helsinki (3-5-2): Hazard; Raitala, Tenho, Hoskonen; Soiri, Lingman, Väänänen, Hetemaj, Browne; Abubakari, Hostikka.
Roma’s biggest win this season has been the 3-0 victory against Monza in Serie A. Other than that, there have been a few draws, a couple of defeats, and a few wins with one-goal margins. A win by a big margin on Thursday will not only boost the collective morale of Mourinho’s men but also bring them back to the winning way in European competition.
GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder