Europa League Semi-Final Preview: Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma

Bayer Leverkusen will be looking to book their place in the final of the Europa League on Thursday night as they take on Roma in the second leg of the semi-final, in which Xabi Alonso’s men are currently 2-0 up in the tie.

Leverkusen recently extended their unbeaten run to 48 games at the weekend as they defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1.

Benfica’s European unbeaten record between December 1963 and February 1965 has now been matched, so not losing to Roma will officially cement Leverkusen’s place in the history books.

The Bundesliga Champions are close to reaching their first European final in over 20 years, but Alonso has stressed how challenging the game will be for his side.

“Second legs are always dangerous, so the result from last week is irrelevant”, said Alonso.

“A goal from Roma tomorrow can immediately change the game. We need to go into the match with the highest concentration again.”

“It will be a top spectacle with a great atmosphere.

I remember the support from last year and we’ll need that sort of energy from the fans tomorrow.”

Roma have lost just four times in 22 matches under Daniel De Rossi since he took over as manager form Jose Mourinho but earning a place in the Champions League now looks difficult after they slipped to 6th in the league table after a draw with Juventus recently.

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Alonso has confirmed that he has a full squad at his disposal for the game, including the return of Florian Wirtz and Alejandro Grimaldo after they were both rested in the 5-1 win against Eintracht Frankfurt.

As for Roma, right back Zeki Celik is available after serving his suspension, meaning that he will replace Rasmus Kristensen.

GGFN | Matthew Gritton

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