Ole Gunnar Solksjaer said it would be a "dream come true" to win a trophy with Manchester United ahead of his side's Europa League Semi Final against Roma
By Craig Humpage
Football Writer, Sporticos
Published on Thursday 29 April 2021
Favourites to win the Europa League Manchester United welcome an underperforming Roma team to Old Trafford on Thursday with the Italian side 7th in Serie A, behind city rivals Lazio, and unlikely to qualify for next season's edition of the competition. This will be United's fifth semi final since the start of 2020 and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer will hope he can finally navigate them to a first final during that period. The Red Devils are comfortable in the Premier League with Champions League qualification more or less wrapped up, while the Italians are in poor form, having only won one from their last seven.
Preview: Manchester United vs Roma
Manchester United won the Europa League in 2017, beating Ajax in the final. If they can get past Roma across two legs, they will face either Villarreal or Arsenal in the final as two all English finals look possible once again in Europe. Solksjaer's men are unbeaten in their last six and will be full of confidence against the flailing Italians on Thursday. After recent defeats at the hands of relegation threatened Torino and Cagliari, Roma boss Paulo Fonseca knows he needs to do something special in the Europa League to keep his job. He still has a squad full of quality players to call on but confidence appears to be at an all time low. Playing against a side boasting the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani will either terrify them or galvanise them, we will have to wait and see.
Team news on the Manchester United front is promising as they only have two long term injuries to contend with, Anthony Martial and Phil Jones. Arguably neither of those would make the starting X1 for this game anyway. They will probably line up with the aforementioned three superstars and Marcus Rashford, a star in his own right. That front line can cause anyone problems and Roma will need to be at their absolute best to stand up to that challenge. In Roma team news, United old boys Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have recently recovered from injury and are likely to start against their old club. Nicolo Zaniolo will be unavailable as he has yet to recover from a torn ACL from September.
Prediction: Manchester United vs Roma
There will be plenty of narrative in this one, as two former United players are almost certain to return to their former home. We should also see Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, who played a major part in Manchester City stealing the title away from Manchester United in the dying embers of that infamous game back in 2011. He will be hoping to inflict some more pain on his old rivals. Roma's results this calendar year belie the level of quality in their squad. They have many good players capable of competing with United, but they will need to find form fast. United look imperious in this competition, having dispatched Real Sociedad, AC Milan and Granada, and they will be disappointed with anything other than lifting the trophy. If the best possible Roma team turn up they could make it interesting, but chances are it will be a comfortable first leg victory for Ole's men.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-0 Roma
How to watch Manchester United vs Roma live on TV
Here's where you can watch Manchester United vs Roma in this Semi Final First Leg:
Manchester United vs Roma
Thursday 29 April 2021
Kick Off Time: 20.00
TV Channel: BT Sport 2 / BT Sport Ultimate
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