Roma vs Bayer LeverkusenUEFA Europa League, KO: 20:00 May 11, 2023, Stadio Olimpico
A thrilling contest could be on the cards as Roma host Bayer Leverkusen in their Europa League semi-final first leg. While a closely fought encounter is expected here, Roma have experience at this stage of European competition and should have the edge at home.
Roma were taken to extra-time before seeing off Feyenoord 4-2 on aggregate in the quarterfinal of the Europa League. Having suffered a 1-0 defeat in the first meeting, they were on their way out of the competition before a late blitz saw them pick up a 4-1 victory in extra-time.
The Italians have not had the best build-up to Thursday’s clash as they are winless in their last four matches and suffered a 2-1 defeat to Inter Milan in a Serie A fixture last Saturday. However, the Europa League has served as a welcome distraction and have won their last four home matches in the competition.
One thing Roma has going for them is the experience of manager Jose Mourinho, who has conquered virtually every sphere of European football. The Portuguese gaffer led the team to the Conference League title last season and will be targeting a natural progression this term.
Bayer Leverkusen’s progress to the semi-final was a bit more straightforward as they claimed a 5-2 aggregate victory over Union Saint-Gilloise. They were held to a 1-1 draw at home in the first meeting before running out 4-1 winners in the second leg in Belgium.
It has been an overall solid Europa League campaign for Bayer Leverkusen, who have made the most of dropping down from the Champions League. Xabi Alonso’s men have claimed four wins and a draw from their last five matches in the competition.
While Bayer Leverkusen will undoubtedly be feeling confident ahead of Thursday’s clash, their recent form has been slightly erratic. They are winless in their last two matches across all competitions and travel to the Stadio Olimpico off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Cologne in a Bundesliga fixture last Friday.
How the bookies view it
Head to head
Roma and Bayer Leverkusen have one win each and two draws from four previous matches meetings. Both teams met during the group stage of the 2015-16 Europa League and played out a 4-4 draw in Germany before the Italians picked up a 3-2 victory in the return fixture at the Stadio Olimpico.
Players to watch
Paulo Dybala has impressed for Roma this season and having started on the bench on Saturday, should be well rested for Thursday’s clash. The forward was on target in the previous round and is priced at 23/10 by William Hill to get on the score sheet once again.
Moussa Diaby often carries much of Bayer Leverkusen’s attacking threat and will be the one to watch on Thursday. The forward has scored in two of the last three Europa League matches and is priced at 19/5 by William Hill to find the net.
Anything else catch the eye?
Roma and Bayer Leverkusen have been involved in some high-scoring encounters lately and could serve up another thriller on Thursday. Over 3.5 goals is valued at 14/5 by Coral, over 2.5 goals is priced at 23/20 by BetVictor while bet365 is offering odds of 10/11 on both teams to score.
All the goals were scored after the break in Roma’s previous Europa League fixture and Thursday’s clash can be set to follow a similar pattern at 6/5 with Paddy Power.
This UEFA Europa League match between Roma and Bayer Leverkusen will be played on May 11, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Roma vs Bayer Leverkusen prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.