Manchester United host Serie A side Roma in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday. With the tie deciding both clubs’ seasons, the Red Devils are the favorites in Manchester United vs Roma.
United are yet to reach a final despite this being their fifth semi-final since the start of last year.
Meanwhile, the under-performing Italian side are guests at Old Trafford with only one win in their last seven league games.
Manchester United vs Roma Team news
After losing his league league starting spot to Dean Henderson, David de Gea will start for the home side as goalkeeper.
In attack meanwhile, after being rested for Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Leeds, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani will return. Both will be in the starting XI on Thursday night.
Cavani has nine goals against Roma in his career, making them his favorite Italian team against whom he has scored.
If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also uses Pogba on the left wing, Mason Greenwood will most likely be on the bench. Greenwood has had a decent run in the side recently, though.
Manchester United also welcome back Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, and Scott McTominay.
All three return after serving a one-match suspension in the Europa League last time out.
Manchester United possible starting lineup: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Pogba, Fernandes, Rashford; Cavani
Roma’s injury woes have eased in recent weeks. The only players likely to miss out for Roma are Pedro and Nicolo Zaniolo.
Former Manchester United teammates Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are returning in particular.
Also, Edin Dzeko has scored more goals against Manchester United than any other English team in his career. So, on Thursday, the former Manchester City striker would expect to start against their local rivals.
Ibanez will be ready to return to the starting XI, though being suspended for Roma’s loss to Cagliari on Sunday.
And with Gianluca Mancini still suspended, Bryan Cristante is expected to resume with the Italians.
At left wing-back will start either Leonardo Spinazzola or Bruno Peres.
Roma possible starting lineup: Lopez; Cristante, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko
- Over the course of this match, an interesting clash of cultures will unfold. Possession-oriented Roma have conceded more than anybody else in the top half of Serie A. But they face a Manchester United side that is most dangerous on the counter.
- On Sunday, Manchester United limped to a 0-0 draw with Leeds, while Roma lost 3-2 to Cagliari.
- And both teams haven’t had the best of practices for Thursday’s semi-final first leg.
- United have won their last ten home games in all competitions.
- Roma have lost their last two away games.
- Despite the fact that this is their first competitive meeting since 2008, United are undefeated in the last five matches between the two teams.
- Roma have scored in all but one of their Europa League matches this season.
- Nonetheless, Roma may be lucky to bring even a single away goal back to Italy for the second leg.
- The hosts’ confidence is surely stronger, as the Giallorossi have staggered their way through spring.
- In-form United will manage to score goals from a number of outlets, allowing United to build a valuable lead to take to Rome next week.