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Jose Mourinho is back in the limelight and on the big European stage again.
He's already won the Champions League (2004 and 2010), UEFA Cup (2003) and Europa League (2017) and now the former Manchester United and Tottenham boss has the opportunity for another major UEFA club competition trophy. This time it's with Roma, with Dutch side Feyenoord standing in the way in the UEFA Europa Conference League final.
Mourinho's Roma were European Cup runners-up in 1984 and lost to Serie A rivals Inter in 1991 in their only other major final in the UEFA Cup. Feyenoord have a rich history in Europe. They won the European Cup in 1970, the UEFA Cup in 1974 and 2002 and have a chance to be the first club to win all three of the current major UEFA club competition trophies.
"When you work in Rome, you live in Rome, you breathe Rome and you breathe this club. I felt from the day I signed that they were a huge club."
🗣️ José Mourinho, Roma coach 🐺@ASRomaEN | #UECLfinal pic.twitter.com/h8Rr5AJnCT
— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) May 23, 2022
When: Wednesday, May 25, 20:00 GMT
Where: Arena Kombetare, Tirana, Albania
Where to watch: BT Sport 1
Who is the ref for Roma vs Feyenoord
Istvan Kovacs will be officiating his first major European final, having been an international referee since 2010.
The 37-year-old Hungarian has refereed 10 UEFA games this season, including the first leg of the Champions League semi-final between Manchester City and Real Madrid.
He has already been the referee for a Roma clash this season in the Conference League on November 25 for the match against Zorya Luhansk.
In the 12 last months, Kovacs has overseen 16 matches (2 Europa Conference League, 7 Champions League), 3 Europa League, 3 World Cup qualifiers and 1 European Championship).
During these games he has issued 75 yellow cards (average of 4.69 per game) and two red cards.
— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) May 21, 2022
Mourinho brings his Roma team to Albania on the back of a lively 3-0 win at Torino to wrap up their Serie A campaign that followed a 1-1 draw with Venezia and a 2-0 loss at Fiorentina. Attentions and energies focused on this final perhaps? Feyenoord ended their Eredivisie season with a disappointing 2-1 defeat at home to Twente.
The Dutch team will be buoyed though by their European ventures. They are undefeated in their 12 games in the Conference League this season (W8 D4). And although they failed to score in their most recent game (0-0 at Marseille) they have scored two or more goals in each of their previous 10 matches in the competition.
Roma lost two of their 12 games in the Conference League this season (W7 D3) with both defeats against Bodo/Glimt. They've scored in each of their 12 matches in the competition but it's likely to be a tight one with the Italian club's defence keeping five clean sheets in the 12 games.
Roma and Feyenoord players in form
Feyenoord have had an extra week's rest to their Italian opponents because of the Eredivisie season finishing last week. They'll be fresh and raring to go.
If it's form on the European stage you're after then keep an eye out for Luis Sinisterra and Cyriel Dessers. They've scored more than half of Feyenoord's goals in the Conference League, with the pair supplying 16 of their team's 28 goals, including each of their last six. Mourinho's defenders beware.
Lorenzo Pellegrini could be the dangerman for Roma, though. He has either scored or assisted in each of their last four games in the Conference League.
After bagging a goal for Roma against Leicester on May 5 in the semi-final, former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham scored a double against Torino in the last game of the Serie A season. He has scored nine goals in 12 appearances in the Conference League and he'll be gagging for glory for himself and Mourinho on Wednesday night.
This is the third match in all European competitions between Feyenoord and Roma.
They first played each other in the last 32 of the Europa League in the 2014/15 campaign.
Roma progressed after drawing at home 1-1 and then securing an aggregate victory courtesy of a 2-1 win in Rotterdam.
Roma boss Jose Mourinho said: "They had 14 games like us and overcame difficult opponents. [For example], the semi-final with Marseille - a team that has European history and the Velodrome, which is one of the most fascinating and difficult places to play as an opponent. You can only give them credit.
"Finals are 50-50, but we will do our best to make it 51-49. That has to be during the game, not before. The work leading up to the final over several months is the basis for those 90 or 120 minutes. It's [the players'] day; we are just there to give a little help.
"I have been lucky so far [in winning all of my European finals]: my players have turned up in the finals we have reached. In the moment of truth, they have always been there.
"When you work in Rome, you live in Rome, you breathe Rome and you breathe this club. I felt from the day I signed that they were a huge club, but with no victories and not many finals. I'm very emotional. This, for us, is our Champions League."
— UEFA Europa Conference League (@europacnfleague) May 22, 2022
Feyenoord head coach Arne Slot: "Mourinho's CV makes you wary of his team. He is known for winning many finals. But we mainly have to focus on his team, the tactics and the different ways they play. We shouldn't pay too much attention to the fact that he has such an impressive track record in finals. "Roma can play brilliantly in important matches, especially in the knockout phases of European competitions. They know how to prepare well for an important game. "They have a great starting line-up, but if Mourinho has to look to the bench, there are a lot of other players who can reinforce the team. "Only the best teams make it to the finals, so it's logical that you will have to face a strong opponent. But the same goes for AS Roma: they also have a strong opponent to face."
Predicted Roma vs Feyenoord teams
Mourinho looks set to be without former Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan because of an ongoing hamstring problem. But there's a wealth of attacking talent to be called upon.
Roma have given Chris Smalling and Nicolo Zaniolo a breather to rest weary limbs, while Lorenzo Pellegrini, Leonardo Spinazzola and Sergio Oliveira were all substituted in the second half of the 3-0 win at Torino.
Despite their extended rest time Dutch side Feyenoord have some injury concerns for the final.
Justin Bijlow, Tyrell Malacia, Reiss Nelson and Gernot Traunner have all been in the treatment room and are considered doubtful to face Roma.
Possible Roma starting line-up: Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Cristante, Sergio Oliveira, Pellegrini, Zalewski; Zaniolo, Abraham
Possible Feyenoord starting line-up: Marciano; Geertruida, Trauner, Senesi, Malacia; Til, Aursnes, Orkun Kokcu; Nelson, Dessers, Sinisterra
Roma vs Feyenoord prediction
After losing 6-1 to Bodo/Glimt in the group stages of this competition, few would have expected Mourinho's team to be in the final.
Here they are and if they show the form from the semi-final second leg when they dominated Leicester then it could be a smooth ride for Roma.
Mourinho usually nails his tactics in cup finals and without any silverware since Manchester United's Europa League win five years ago there is no doubt he will be utterly fired up to face the Dutch. If Feyenoord can keep Abraham quiet and their front boys Dessers and Sinisterra can shine then they will have a good chance.
But if Jose and his men can keep their bottle then it should be glory in Albania for the Italian side.
The article Roma vs Feyenoord news: Jose Mourinho and Tammy Abraham hunt UEFA Europa Conference League glory appeared first on Planetsport.com.