Preview and Prediction
The Europa League champions’ record holder with five titles, Sevilla, will have a tough test in the round of 16 this week when they take on AS Roma. The game will be held in Duisburg in a single-leg match. The Andalusian side has secured the Champions League spot for next season as they managed to finish on the fourth of the table while Il Giallorossi could only seal the fifth place in Serie A, which means they will return to Europa League again next season, unless they are able to win this year’s edition.
The teams’ previous matches
Sevilla managed to clinch three points while hosting Valencia in the last game of La Liga, which no longer made any difference to their position in the standings last month. They won 1-0 by a single goal of Real Madrid loanee Sergio Reguilon.
AS Roma even had a more convincing result on the final matchday of Serie A. They crushed the current Champions, Juventus, 3-1 on the road and spoiled the host’s title celebration. Gonzalo Higuain gave La Vecchia Signora the lead. Not long after, Roma responded by Niko Kalinic’s header after taking advantage of Diego Perotti’s assist. Yet, the Argentine midfielder did not stop there. He even scored a brace afterwards to seal a win in Turin.
The former Spain and Real Madrid boss, Julen Lopetegui is likely to employ his favourite 4-3-3 formation. Lucas Ocampos, Munir El-Haddadi and Luuk de Jong will be the main trio upfront. In the midfield, the Argentine Ever Banega is the anchorman accompanied by Oliver Torres and Fernando Reges or Joan Jordan.
Meanwhile, Paulo Fonseca has been deploying 3-4-2-1 formation, instead of 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. Such has led to their unbeaten run in the last eight games. Edin Dzeko is still the targetman. However, Lorenzo Pellegrini is still ruled out. Nicola Zaniolo or Diego Perotti can be opted to take over his position as the attacking midfielder for the starting IX.
Players to watch
The Andalusian side’s decision on signing Lucas Ocampos from Marseille seemed to be paid off. The Argentine winger has been the top performers alongside Ever Banega, with fourteen goals and three assists. His composure, powerful shots and excellence in penalties has led him to be Sevilla’s main scorer and star. Another notable figure to watch is the defensive midfielder Fernando Reges and the defender Diego Carlos.
In Roma, the best starting IX consists of the senior ones combined with local talents. Edin Dzeko, Henrikh Mikhitariyan and Chris Smalling represent the senior key men while Nicola Zaniolo and Gianluca Mancini are the face of their future. Both sides can create a daunting line up.
Sevilla vs Roma Prediction
This is the most anticipated game in round of 16 which potentially could go to penalties. This clash can be considered too early as Sevilla and Roma deserve to be on the latter stage such as semifinal. Considering their positive trend lately, it is still tough to pick the winner. However, if it does have to end in a penalty shootout, Roma has more experienced penalty takers such as Dzeko himself, Alexander Kolarov, Henrikh Mikhitariyan, Diego Perotti and some more. Such could be their advantage.
This upcoming fixture is expected to be even. Ever Banega and Co are projected to win at 2.15, whereas Paulo Fonseca’s odds to win are lower at 3.65. The odds for the draw result are at the value of 3.30.