HomeFitnessAS Roma vs Real Sociedad Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News...

AS Roma vs Real Sociedad Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

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AS Roma will host Real Sociedad in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16 on Thursday, hoping to pick up a positive result at home.

AS Roma did well to overturn the deficit from the first leg and beat Red Bull Salzburg in the last round, and they will be confident of grinding out a similar result against Real Sociedad.

Furthermore, the Giallorossi managed to beat Juventus in their last league game. So Jose Mourinho’s side will be full of confidence heading into this contest.

On the other hand, Real Sociedad topped their Europa League group which consisted of Manchester United. However, the Spanish outfit have not been at their best recently, and they are currently winless in their last three league matches.

They will have to improve immensely if they want to grind out a positive result away from home against Roma this week. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

AS Roma

AS Roma will be without the services of Ola Solbakken and Ebrima Darboe because of injuries. Solbakken is out with a muscle injury and missed the win over Juventus as well.

Jose Mourinho is likely to field his side in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with Rui Patricio in goal. Gianluca Mancini will start alongside Chris Smalling and Roger Ibanez at the back.

Nicola Zalewski and Leonardo Spinazzola will start as the full-backs, and they will look to add creativity and width to the side. Both players are quite effective going forward and could cause all sorts of problems for the Real Sociedad defence with their overlaps and service.

Nemanja Matic will partner Bryan Cristante at the heart of the midfield, and the two players will look to add a defensive cover to the side. Paulo Dybala and Lorenzo Pellegrini will start as the attacking midfielders here. The duo will look to link up with striker Tammy Abraham and add creativity and goals to the side.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski, Matic, Cristante, Spinazzola; Dybala, Pellegrini; Abraham

Real Sociedad

Imanol Alguacil will be without the services of Umar Sadiq, Aritz Elustondo, and Martin Merquelanz because of fitness issues.  The Spanish outfit are likely to line up in a 4-1-3-2 formation, with Alex Remiro in goal.

Andoni Gorosabel and Diego Rico will likely start as the full-backs. The two players will have to protect the central defenders and help create opportunities during transitions as well. Igor Zubeldia will partner with Robin Le Normand at the heart of the defense.

Martin Zubimendi will be deployed as the defensive midfielder, and he will look to protect the central defenders and recycle possession. In the midfield three, Brais Mendez will start alongside Mikel Merino and Takefusa Kubo.

The three players will look to add control and creativity from the middle of the park. Finally, Mikel Oyarzabal is set to lead the line alongside Carlos Fernandez.

Probable Lineup (4-1-3-2): Remiro; Gorosabel, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Rico; Zubimendi; Mendez, Merino, Kubo; Oyarzabal, Fernandez

Key Stats

  • AS Roma have won just two of their last 15 European matches against Spanish teams.
  • Real Sociedad have won just one of their six European matches against Italian teams.
  • Roma have lost just twice in their previous 33 home games in European competitions.
  • Real Sociedad kept three clean sheets in away matches throughout the group stage.
  • Jose Mourinho has won 14 of his 16 home games in the UEFA Europa League.

Player to Watch

Paulo Dybala

The 29-year-old World Cup winner has been in impressive form this season, and he has scored three goals in five appearances in the Europa League this season.

Dybala has been one of Roma’s best players this season and could cause all sorts of problems for the Real Sociedad defence with his movement and link-up play. The Argentine is not just a goal scorer, he will help break down defences with his creativity and passing as well. He has four goals and four assists In his last 10 appearances, and he is our man to watch out for.

Prediction

AS Roma 1-0 Real Sociedad

AS Roma are undoubtedly the better team heading into this contest against Real Sociedad, and they are in better form as well. Jose Mourinho’s men have been quite difficult to beat at home, and the Italian giants have enough quality in the final third to grind out a positive result here.

Real Sociedad are likely to put up a fight. But they will struggle to break down the hosts, and The Hard Tackle predicts a narrow 1-0 home win.

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