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Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma betting tips: Europa League semi-final second leg preview, predictions, team news and odds

Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma odds and betting statistcs

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Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma match preview

Having claimed the narrowest of first leg leads at Stadio Olimpico, can Roma now finish the job in North Rhine-Westphalia?

A week ago, the Eternal City witnesses just a solitary goal, but one that was wildly celebrated by the majority of the 63,123 spectators in attendance.

Just after the hour mark, Tammy Abraham’s shot was parried by Lukáš Hrádecký, but 20 year old Romanista Edoardo Bove was on hand to slot home.

Will that 1-0 margin of victory prove to be enough as these two clubs reconvene in Germany?

Roma were crowned the inaugural Europa Conference League winners just 12 months ago, claiming their first continental silverware since 1961.

Now, after dumping out RB Salzburg, Real Sociedad and Feyenoord, I Giallorossi are dreaming of winning UEFA’s second-tier tournament for the very first time.

With Roma sixth in Serie A, six points adrift of fourth, following Sunday’s goalless draw with Bologna, winning the Europa League is their only route back into next season’s Champions League.

Bayer Leverkusen meantime were UEFA Cup winners in 1988, coming from 3-0 down to defeat Espanyol on penalties in that two-legged final.

So far this season, Xabi Alonso’s side have ousted Monaco on penalties, swatted aside Ferencváros 4-0 and then ended Royale Union Saint-Gilloise’s fairytale with a 4-1 victory in Brussels.

In the Bundesliga, having failed to win any of their last three, die Werkself are now seventh, and can mathematically finish no higher than sixth.

If die Schwarzroten do turn this tie around and reach the final, it would be their first in UEFA competition since 2002, beaten by that Zinédine Zidane volley in the Champions League Final back then.

Who will be celebrating at BayArena? A date with either Juventus or Sevilla at Puskás Aréna in just 13 days time awaits the winners.

Bayer Leverkusen team news

Xabi Alonso made just four changes for Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Stuttgart, so fatigue could be an issue.

Having hobbled off in the first half of the first leg, Odilon Kossounou will miss out, with Piero Hincapié therefore completing the back three and Mitchel Bakker starting at wing-back.

Exequiel Palacios’ goal at the weekend could see him get the nod over Nadiem Amiri in midfield.

With Patrik Schick injured, Adam Hložek will lead the line, supported by wunderkind Florian Wirtz and star man Moussa Diaby.

Chelsea loanee Callum Hudson-Odoi was on the bench at the weekend, hoping to feature for the first time since April Fool’s Daydue to injury.

Predicted XI (3-4-3): Hrádecký; Tah, Tapsoba, Hincapié; Frimpong, Palacios, Andrich, Bakker; Diaby, Wirtz, Hložek.

Roma team news

In contrast to his opposite number, José Mourinho made eight changes for the weekend draw at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, with their focus fully on this competition.

One of the trio who did keep their places, Andrea Belotti, will be back on the bench this time, with fit again Paulo Dybala partnering Tammy Abraham in attack.

In defence, Diego Llorente, Marash Kumbulla, Rick Karsdorp and Chris “Smalldini” Smalling are all injured, leaving Mourinho short of options.

Goalkeeper Rui Patrício made his 71st Europa League appearance in the first leg (excluding qualifiers), the most of any player in the competition’s history, since it rebranded from the UEFA Cup in 2009.

These appearances have yielded 24 clean sheets and, should he take that to 25 here, Rome would be in the final.

Predicted XI (3-5-2): Patrício; Cristante, Ibañez, Mancini; Çelik, Matić, Pellegrini, Bove, Spinazzola; Dybala, Abraham.

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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