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Big Match Breakdown: Liverpool v Roma

Cian Carroll | 24 April 2018

Preview and tips ahead of the big showdown

Liverpool host AS Roma tonight at Anfield in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

It’s all set up for one of those famous nights on Merseyside as Jurgen Klopp’s side look to make a first UCL final since 2007.

The Reds will be confident of a decent result on home soil with a rapturously partisan crowd behind them. And star man Mohamed Salah is bang in form, too.

The Coral News Team go in-depth on the huge game with a Big Match Breakdown…

Head-To-Head

These two clubs have a varied modern history together. But a lot of the recent clashes have come in pre-season friendlies, with Roma winning the last three.

You have to go back to the 2001-02 season when the pair last met competitively. That was in the Champions League last-16 when Liverpool progressed after a 2-0 win at Anfield in the second leg.

Previous to that, the Reds also knocked the Serie A club out of the 2000-01 UEFA Cup, winning 2-1 on aggregate.

Likely XIs

The Liverpool team nearly picks itself at this stage. Emre Can is out for the season so the midfield will line-up with Jordan Henderson, James Milner, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

At the back, it’s as you were with Virgil van Dijk and Dejan Lovren at centre-half with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold flanking them.

For Roma, it’s likely to be a 3-5-2 with Edin Dzeko and Patrik Schick up top. Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov will be the wingbacks.

Key Battles

The big question will be whether Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco sticks to his attacking principles or tries to nullify Liverpool.

A 3-5-2 formation would suggest the latter. A packed Giallorossi midfield will look to crowd out Reds’ runners with the three centre-backs covering Liverpool’s front trio.

Di Francesco played 4-3-3 in the 3-3 draw with Chelsea earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge. But the former Sassuolo coach probably won’t be as offensive this time around.

The result here will depend on an early goal. The longer the game stays scoreless, the more confident Roma will become.

Match Odds

Liverpool are 1/2 for the win, with Roma at 11/2, and the draw available at 17/5.

Those odds are stacked in Liverpool’s favour. And that’s possibly down to Roma’s poor away form in this season’s competition.

Despite that impressive performance against Chelsea, the Rome outfit have lost their last three UCL away games. Barcelona spanked them 4-1, while Shakhtar Donetsk also overcame them 2-1 in Kharkiv.

However, Roma do have plenty of Premier League experience in their side and that will help. Edin Dzeko has scored six goals in this year’s UCL and he’s mostly likely to find the net Anytime for his side at 19/10.

Di Francesco’s side will have plenty of worrying to do with Liverpool’s in-form attacking triumvirate. Mo Salah (8 goals), Roberto Firmino (8), and Sadio Mane (7) are all on fire.

The trio are 7/1011/8, and 17/10 to score Anytime, respectively.

While Roma could be a little more defensive than usual, they are still very dangerous in attack. Can they find an away goal? It’s 19/10 that Liverpool win and Both Teams Score.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing