Just when Roma fans started to believe this could be a season to remember, they’ve come crashing back down to earth.
I Giallorossi accumulated ten points from four Serie A games in August, notably outplaying Juventus in a 1-1 draw at home.
However, in their first match of this month, José Mourinho’s men were truly shambolic in a 4-0 defeat at Udinese, their biggest defeat againt a side from outside ‘le Sette Sorelle’ since 2010.
This form then continued into this competition with Roma suffering a shock matchday one defeat to Ludogorets last Thursday.
Eldor Shomurodov had seemingly snatched a point in Razgrad, only for the Bulgarian champions to go straight up the other end and retake the lead.
On Monday night, they did at least stop the rot, beating Empoli 2-1 thanks to Paulo Dybala’s gorgeous opener and Tammy Abraham’s winner from close-range.
Back in this competition, with a double-header against Real Betis coming up, la Lupa really can’t afford another slip up here.
HJK meantime are just delighted to be in the Europa League group stages, overcoming RFS, Maribor and Silkeborg in qualifiers to get here.
So, the fact Toni Koskela’s side looked out of their depth on matchday one, beaten 2-0 by Betis in Helsinki, isn’t too surprising.
When the draw was made, HJK were probably aiming to oust Ludogorets into third, so anything they claim in the Eternal City will be a massive bonus.
Given that the Finnish champions have lost both previous visits to Italy, a home win should be on the cards at Stadio Olimpico.