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Leverkusen v AS Roma – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Bayer Leverkusen host Roma in the Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday.

Leverkusen v Roma

Bayer Leverkusen host Roma in the Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday. The German club won 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico a week ago and are favourites to reach the final in Dublin vs Atalanta or Marseille.

Leverkusen Form

Xabi Alonso’s team are 48 matches unbeaten, equalling a record set by Benfica some 59 years ago. They reached this stage by beating West Ham 2-0 at home and then scoring late in London to draw 1-1. A 97th-minute goal preserved the unbeaten streak in a 1-1 draw away to Dortmund.

Six days later, they again needed a 97th-minute goal to rescue a 2-2 home draw vs Stuttgart to keep their hopes of a completely unbeaten season alive. A 2-0 win away to AS Roma put them close to reaching the Europa League final. On Sunday, they thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 away in the league with five goals from just nine shots.

Leverkusen Team News

Xabi Alonso made nine changes for the league match over the weekend. Only Edmond Tapsoba and Granit Xhaka started from the Roma first leg. There are no injuries or suspensions to deal with.

Jeremie Frimpong could again play in the front three in this one. Florian Wirtz played as a false nine in the first leg. It remains to be seen if Victor Boniface will start here as a frontline number nine.

Leverkusen Motivation

The motivation here is very high. Leverkusen will want to firstly reach the final, but they won’t want to lose their unbeaten streak.

Expect quite a pragmatic display with lots of safe possession and possibly using a false nine to dominate midfield.

Roma Form

Roma have had a slight dip of late with one win in the last five. Before that, it was one loss in 12 matches since the appointment of Daniele De Rossi. They reached this stage by beating Brighton 4-0 at home before losing 1-0 away in the last-16. Some top results in April saw a 1-0-win vs Lazio and a 3-1 aggregate victory over AC Milan in the Europa League.

A 1-0 away win in Milan was followed by a 2-1 home win in the second leg. After a shock 3-1 home loss to Bologna, they beat Udinese 2-1 in the last minute. A 2-2 draw at Napoli and a 2-0 home loss to Leverkusen followed. They drew 1-1 with Juventus on Saturday night in Serie A.

Roma Team News

Paulo Dybala is doubtful after a groin injury in the last match. He should shake off that knock to start this match. Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini are both pushing for recalls in central defence for this match.

Young winger Tommaso Baldanzi started against Juventus, but Stephan El Shaarawy is another option to start. Tammy Abraham will be on the bench to provide firepower in the second half.   

Roma Motivation

Roma’s chances of progress are slim. They have no choice but to attack Germany even though they are not likely to have more than 40% possession.

Scoring first will be crucial. AS Roma have good impact subs who could come on if chasing a goal in the last 20 minutes.

Key Stats

Bayer Leverkusen are 48 matches unbeaten in all competitions

Leverkusen have scored 2+ goals in 17 of their last 20 matches

Leverkusen have drawn 3 of their last 5 matches

Roma have just 1 win in their last 5 fixtures

Roma have 1 win in their last 5 away Europa League matches (LDDLW)

Roma’s Lukaku has 7 goals in this season’s Europa League


This should be a good match to watch. Roma have to attack whilst Leverkusen have had a dip in performance levels recently with some late goals required. A score draw looks like great value in Germany.

Best Bet: Over 2.5 goals at 1.66

High-value Bet: Draw at 4.35

Anytime goalscorer: Romelu Lukaku at 3.75

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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