Man Utd will host Roma in the first leg of the Europa League Semifinals tomorrow evening. Man Utd would rather be participating in the Champions League Semifinals but this a big opportunity against a historic club.
Roma are not the Roma team from a few years ago that was challenging for Serie A titles and knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League. Roma currently sit 7th in Serie A and lost to Cagliari this weekend.
The days of De Rossi and Totti are long gone. Two former Man Utd players currently play for Roma, Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Jordan Veretout had a stint in the Premier League and Edin Dzeko played for rivals Man City.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was criticized by Roma fans for ‘disrespecting’ their club, Solskjaer responded at the press conference to those claims.
“That was straight after the game and, with all the games we’ve had, I was just relieved that we had gone through. Of course, I’ve watched them but I hadn’t analyzed them and I hadn’t seen them in depth to give them enough respect probably.”
Maybe the Roma fans are a bit insecure about their team. Besides the aging stars that I have mentioned, Roma has a lot of players in their mid to lower 20’s that are not really stepping up to the club’s former level.
Roma did get past a solid Ajax side 3-2 on aggregate in the quarterfinals of the Europa League but have only won a single league game in their last seven league games.
The last time Roma was this poor in the league was the 2011-2012 season where they finished 7th. The last two seasons saw Roma finish 5th and 6th.
Roma could do no worse than 8th this season. Sassuolo is currently 8th and three points behind the Romans, after that Sampdoria sit on 42 points at 9th. Milan and Juventus currently sit at 4th and 5th with a 11 point cushion over Roma.
Roma’s poor form in the league has probably condemned them to another season of Europa League unless they were to win the Europa League, they have no shot of qualifying for Champions League.
Luke Shaw is Ready for Man Utd Semifinals Chance
Luke Shaw joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the press conference and gave his thoughts on the upcoming match. Luke Shaw has not featured in a cup final during his time at Old Trafford and he is ready for that chance.
“Of course personally for me its massive motivation, I have been quite unfortunate to not be involved in the semis or finals, so of course I am really looking forward to tomorrow night. From a team point of view it’s very important, in the past we have missed out on a few finals.”
“No semifinal is easy, there are always tough games, we have just missed out on a few. We had a lot of disappointment from that, we can use that as motivation.”
Man Utd Team News
Ole joked about Luke Shaw inserting himself in the Man Utd starting XI for the first leg when asked about not featuring in big games like this, it will be interesting to see if Shaw starts because Alex Telles has featured a lot in the Europa League at left back.
“They’re all fit and available, we didn’t lose anyone from the last game, which was good. It was a hard-fought game of course against Leeds, high intensity. We’re ready and we’ve had good preparation for the rest of the season.”
Man Utd will have a fully fit squad for the first time in a while this season, obviously minus Anthony Martial, who looks out for the rest of the season.
Ole has a lot of options against Roma, Man Utd look set to finish second in the league, barring a catastrophic collapse in the league, Man Utd will finish in the top four.