Two men charged after Liverpool fan attack

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What is it? It is the biggest game of Arsenal's season as Arsene Wenger's farewell continues against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals. When is it? The first leg of the tie is at the Emirates on Thursday night. What time is kick-off? All Europa League ties in the latter stages of the competition kick-off at 8.05pm (BST). What TV channel is it on? Live coverage begins on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD from 7.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on matchday to follow our liveblog. What is the team news? Arsenal's record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied, although Alexandre Lacazette is back among the goals since his return with six goals in six appearances. Mesut Ozil missed Sunday's 4-1 victory over West Ham with flu, but is expected to return to the starting XI. Mohamed Elneny rolled his ankle and is out for three weeks while Jack Wilshere is fighting a minor ankle problem. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has returned to to training after a knee ligament injury, and has a chance of making the second leg, but Thursday has come too soon for him. Wenger also faces a choice between Petr Cech and David Ospina in goal. Pick your Arsenal XI to face Atletico Madrid Atletico could be without former Chelsea striker Diego Costa due for the first leg in London, though he has been included in their 20-man squad that travelled to London despite an ongoing muscular issue. Diego Simeone rested a number of first-teamers against Real Betis last time out, including Koke, Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann. What are they saying? Arsene Wenger: "First of all before winning a trophy, you need to get through the semi-finals," he added. "This is a good way to prepare - scoring goals against a strong West Ham team who have done well recently. "I would like to thank everyone who has been very nice and kind and praised me more than I deserved it. Laurent Koscielny on Wenger: “The book is nearly finished but we have seven finals to play and we want to give him a happy end. “He gave the chance for other players to play for this club and believes in us so now we need to do a job just for him. "What he did for many years for the club is unbelievable so all the fans, all the people who work in this club and all the players, they have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great coach and a great man." How Arsene Wenger's potential replacements would change Arsenal Diego Simeone: “My selection in London depends on what goes through my head on Wednesday, as well as my heart. “I may use three central defenders in London, why not? “The team is heading into Thursday's game really well. We made important changes and the players responded, I had to rotate to ensure we had fresh players. That's why I gave Vitolo, Fernando Torres, [Angel] Correa and Saul [Niguez] more minutes." What is the history? The two clubs have never met in a competitive game. Arsenal have not won a European trophy since the 1994 Cup Winners' Cup, losing two finals under Wenger - the 2000 Uefa Cup final on penalties to Galatasaray and the 2006 Champions League final to Barcelona. Atletico Madrid have two Champions League finals to city rival Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016, and their last European title was the 2012 Europa League. What next for Arsene Wenger - the departing Arsenal manager's possible destinations What are the odds? First leg result: Arsenal 6/4 Atletico 17/10 Draw 12/5 To qualify: Arsenal 13/8 Atletico 4/9 What is our prediction? Arsenal are yet to keep a home clean sheet in the Europa League knockout stages, and that could prove their undoing in this tie. Their porous defence was not an issue against cumbersome Milan and CSKA Moscow outfits who they could simply outscore, but this semi-final will rest on finer margins. Wenger looks settled on a back four, and when Arsenal's full-backs push forward that can leave their centre backs exposed. The Laurent Koscielny of 2015 could cope with that, but Father Time is taking its toll, while Shkodran Mustafi is low on confidence. Arsenal have been free-scoring at home however, and have a happy knack of scoring goals in flurries at the Emirates. We're backing them to win narrowly but concede an away goal. Verdict: Arsenal 2 Atletico 1.
Arsenal vs Atletico Madrid, Europa League semi-final: team news, injuries and odds
What is it? It is the biggest game of Arsenal's season as Arsene Wenger's farewell continues against Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals. When is it? The first leg of the tie is at the Emirates on Thursday night. What time is kick-off? All Europa League ties in the latter stages of the competition kick-off at 8.05pm (BST). What TV channel is it on? Live coverage begins on BT Sport 2 and BT Sport 4K UHD from 7.30pm. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on matchday to follow our liveblog. What is the team news? Arsenal's record signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is cup-tied, although Alexandre Lacazette is back among the goals since his return with six goals in six appearances. Mesut Ozil missed Sunday's 4-1 victory over West Ham with flu, but is expected to return to the starting XI. Mohamed Elneny rolled his ankle and is out for three weeks while Jack Wilshere is fighting a minor ankle problem. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has returned to to training after a knee ligament injury, and has a chance of making the second leg, but Thursday has come too soon for him. Wenger also faces a choice between Petr Cech and David Ospina in goal. Pick your Arsenal XI to face Atletico Madrid Atletico could be without former Chelsea striker Diego Costa due for the first leg in London, though he has been included in their 20-man squad that travelled to London despite an ongoing muscular issue. Diego Simeone rested a number of first-teamers against Real Betis last time out, including Koke, Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann. What are they saying? Arsene Wenger: "First of all before winning a trophy, you need to get through the semi-finals," he added. "This is a good way to prepare - scoring goals against a strong West Ham team who have done well recently. "I would like to thank everyone who has been very nice and kind and praised me more than I deserved it. Laurent Koscielny on Wenger: “The book is nearly finished but we have seven finals to play and we want to give him a happy end. “He gave the chance for other players to play for this club and believes in us so now we need to do a job just for him. "What he did for many years for the club is unbelievable so all the fans, all the people who work in this club and all the players, they have a lot of respect for him. He’s a great coach and a great man." How Arsene Wenger's potential replacements would change Arsenal Diego Simeone: “My selection in London depends on what goes through my head on Wednesday, as well as my heart. “I may use three central defenders in London, why not? “The team is heading into Thursday's game really well. We made important changes and the players responded, I had to rotate to ensure we had fresh players. That's why I gave Vitolo, Fernando Torres, [Angel] Correa and Saul [Niguez] more minutes." What is the history? The two clubs have never met in a competitive game. Arsenal have not won a European trophy since the 1994 Cup Winners' Cup, losing two finals under Wenger - the 2000 Uefa Cup final on penalties to Galatasaray and the 2006 Champions League final to Barcelona. Atletico Madrid have two Champions League finals to city rival Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016, and their last European title was the 2012 Europa League. What next for Arsene Wenger - the departing Arsenal manager's possible destinations What are the odds? First leg result: Arsenal 6/4 Atletico 17/10 Draw 12/5 To qualify: Arsenal 13/8 Atletico 4/9 What is our prediction? Arsenal are yet to keep a home clean sheet in the Europa League knockout stages, and that could prove their undoing in this tie. Their porous defence was not an issue against cumbersome Milan and CSKA Moscow outfits who they could simply outscore, but this semi-final will rest on finer margins. Wenger looks settled on a back four, and when Arsenal's full-backs push forward that can leave their centre backs exposed. The Laurent Koscielny of 2015 could cope with that, but Father Time is taking its toll, while Shkodran Mustafi is low on confidence. Arsenal have been free-scoring at home however, and have a happy knack of scoring goals in flurries at the Emirates. We're backing them to win narrowly but concede an away goal. Verdict: Arsenal 2 Atletico 1.
Former Bayern Munich and AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti could be offered a two-year deal of coaching the Italian national team, as per reports. The Italian, who was sacked by Bayern in September 2017, is also a target of Premier League club Arsenal. Ancelotti is believed to have met with Italian Federation officials in a hotel in Rome on Monday.
Carlo Ancelotti set to be offered Italy job: Reports
Former Bayern Munich and AC Milan manager Carlo Ancelotti could be offered a two-year deal of coaching the Italian national team, as per reports. The Italian, who was sacked by Bayern in September 2017, is also a target of Premier League club Arsenal. Ancelotti is believed to have met with Italian Federation officials in a hotel in Rome on Monday.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
Roma vs Liverpool: Where will the Champions League semi-final first leg be won and lost?
Roma have only played in one European Cup semi-final in their history. They won! Then they lost to Liverpool in the final in 1984. Now is the chance for revenge. We know Liverpool will attack in their flame-thrower 4-3-3 style but what threat do Roma pose? How did they beat Barcelona? Where will the game be won and lost? How Roma play Eusebio Di Francesco was a hardworking, clever and determined midfielder in his playing days and his Roma team reflect that, full of energy, neat and tidy on the ball and tactically flexible. If the team they are playing against builds from the back, as Chelsea did in a 3-0 defeat to Di Francesco's side earlier in the season, Roma press high and try to capitalise on mistakes made by hounding players on the ball. When the opposition manage to get past their press, they fall back, get tight and force the ball wide, trusting the centre-backs to head away any crosses into the area. When they have the ball, they like to keep it. Roma have a 56 per cent average share of possession in Serie A, the second highest in the league behind only Napoli - Liverpool are fourth in the Premier League on 57.3 per cent - and like Klopp, De Francesco prefers a 4-3-3. di francesco and klopp How Roma might play against Liverpool However, Roma very nearly didn't make it to this stage of the competition. At 4-1 down from the first leg against Barcelona, they looked beaten. Di Francesco made a tactical switch that changed the tie. How Roma (light blue, left) lined up against Barcelona Credit: OPTA Roma played a 3-5-2 for the first time this season. It changed during the game, becoming a 5-4-1 defensive shape and 3-2-5/3-4-2-1 attacking shape against Barcelona's 4-4-2 diamond, allowing them to gain numerical superiority in midfield and an overload in attack, while maintaining defensive cover. Roma (light blue) average attacking positions Credit: OPTA Historically, the three man defence evolved in Italy as a solution to two striker systems and with Lionel Messi partnering Luis Suarez upfront for Barca, worked again. One of the keys to the system working was the movement of Radja Nainggolan (number four in the graphic above), a battling, hugely talented midfielder who has provided seven assists in Serie A this season. Depending on the phase of play he would either add midfield steel alongside Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, help out the left of midfield or attack the left half-space behind Dzeko in a more advanced position. Roma shifted from a 3-5-2 in defence to a 3-2-5 in attack With Aleksandr Kolarov helping stretch the pitch on the left, and Alessandro Florenzi the right, this created space for Dzeko and Patrik Schick to attack in central areas. It effectively became three Roma forwards and two wingers vs Barcelona's two centre-backs, while Roma had three centre-backs vs Barcelona's two forwards. The threat of Liverpool's forward three will concern Di Francesco and we could see this same formation on Tuesday to allow the Roma defence to go man for man on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah, with additional protection coming from the wing-backs. More of a five than a three. The switch to 3-5-2 was an attacking one though, brought about by a need to somehow score three against Barcelona. It seems likely that Di Francesco will adopt a more defensive version of his preferred 4-3-3 at Anfield, shifting to a deep 4-5-1 when Liverpool have the ball. Going direct Although Roma prefer a short passing, patient build-up approach, in the second leg against Barcelona they mixed this up with long direct balls over the defence for Edin Dzeko to either take down, or chase. They did it in the sixth minute of the second leg against Barcelona. De Rossi spotted the forward run and knocked it into Dzeko's path. Nainggolan and Schick lurk behind him, with the wing-backs high up the pitch on either side. The Barcelona full-backs can't go tight on the advanced Roma wing-backs because it creates space for the three Roma forwards - Barca are totally outnumbered. Dzeko controlled brilliantly and then showed the strength and (surprisingly) pace to carry the ball past the defence and bundle it past the goalkeeper with a tidy finish. The comeback was on. Liverpool will push higher up the pitch than Barca did here and must be alert to Dzeko's movement off the ball. Klopp's side have been much stronger defensively, particularly when dealing with aerial battles, since Virgil Van Dijk was introduced to the first team but Roma could target Dejan Lovren with crosses from wide. The defender can be guilty of lapses in concentration. Champions League semi-final | Liverpool vs AS Roma How Roma create goalscoring chances Some commentators will already have prepared a "it had to be him" line for a Mo Salah goal against his former club in this fixture and the recently crowned PFA Player of the Year will feature heavily. Salah scored 15 goals and assisted 11 in Serie A last season from the wide right position in a 4-2-3-1, supplying 2.3 key passes per game. Edin Dzeko, the man with the gift for proving people wrong, is prepared for Liverpool and 'amazing' Mohamed Salah "Last year I scored 39 goals," Edin Dzeko told Paul Hayward in his recent interview with Telegraph Sport. "This year I scored, let’s say, only 20. I’m very happy for [Salah] that he left - but we are missing him.” Roma haven't been able to directly replace Salah and miss those 15 goals as a result, but the current side is a little more balanced, sharing the responsibility of creating more evenly than when they had Salah. What differs most clearly from last season's Roma is that more of the attacking impetus comes from the full-backs The majority of their play goes down either wing (39 per cent left and 34 per cent right on average in Serie A) and has meant that Kolarov - that same slowish looking reserve at Man City - has made 2.4 key passes per game and seven assists in Serie A, while right-back Florenzi has 1.4 key passes per game and five assists in Serie A. This is Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk: Roma (left) attacking thirds in a 1-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk in March Credit: OPTA And this is from the 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid in September: Roma (left) attacking thirds vs Atletico Madrid in a 0-0 draw in September Credit: OPTA Losing the ball in wide areas is (in theory) less dangerous than doing so in central positions. Focusing attacking play down the wings is a way for Roma to minimise risk but something which makes use of the wing-backs' crossing ability and Dzeko's quality as a penalty box poacher. This is Klopp's difficult tactical decision: does he make Salah and Mane track back to stop Roma's full-backs from crossing at source, or have them push high up the pitch to try and keep Kolarov and Florenzi from being able to get forward? Either way, Dzeko is a big threat and the centre-backs must stay switched on throughout. Where Roma are vulnerable Liverpool's Fab Three are brilliant individually and as a unit, capable of taking apart the very best. Anfield will be loud, the players will be pumped and this is perfect fuel for Klopp's heavy metal football machine. When everyone is at full pelt, it's basically impossible to stop them from scoring. 2003/04: Deportivo La Coruna 4-0 AC Milan 2016/17: Barcelona 6-1 PSG 2017/18: Roma 3-0 Barcelona This is only the third time in Champions League history that a team has overturned a three-goal deficit in a knockout game. HISTORY! Incredible scenes in Rome �� pic.twitter.com/tSuz1ftPL4— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 10, 2018 Di Francesco's team did manage to keep Lionel Messi quiet in the return leg of their quarter-final but Barcelona's setup left him stranded alongside Suarez as Roma dominated the midfield. Salah can dribble in tight spaces, create goals out of nothing, is small and left-footed but he isn't Messi and will need to drop back to defend the right channel when required, especially considering Kolarov represents one of their biggest threats. Why I'm expecting a Liverpool vs Bayern final And that's the point. Roma shouldn't be underestimated but they have weaknesses. Kolarov isn't the best defender Europe has ever seen and should be targeted with passes into Salah. Florenzi can be caught too. Liverpool must use their terrifying attack as a form of defence. Klopp's side haven't conceded a goal in their previous four home Champions League matches, Roma have lost their last three away Champions League matches. Barring any big surprises, Liverpool should take a lead away from this match.
AC Milan's midfielder Lucas Biglia, pictured in 2017, has fractured two vertebrae in his back
AC Milan's midfielder Lucas Biglia, pictured in 2017, has fractured two vertebrae in his back
AC Milan's midfielder Lucas Biglia, pictured in 2017, has fractured two vertebrae in his back
AC Milan's midfielder Lucas Biglia, pictured in 2017, has fractured two vertebrae in his back (AFP Photo/Marco BERTORELLO)
AC Milan's midfielder Lucas Biglia, pictured in 2017, has fractured two vertebrae in his back
AC Milan's midfielder Lucas Biglia, pictured in 2017, has fractured two vertebrae in his back (AFP Photo/Marco BERTORELLO)
AC Milan players celebrate after Giacomo Bonaventura (Rear R) scored against Torino last week
AC Milan players celebrate after Giacomo Bonaventura (Rear R) scored against Torino last week
AC Milan players celebrate after Giacomo Bonaventura (Rear R) scored against Torino last week
AC Milan players celebrate after Giacomo Bonaventura (Rear R) scored against Torino last week (AFP Photo/MIGUEL MEDINA)
AC Milan players celebrate after Giacomo Bonaventura (Rear R) scored against Torino last week
AC Milan players celebrate after Giacomo Bonaventura (Rear R) scored against Torino last week (AFP Photo/MIGUEL MEDINA)
Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia has suffered a back injury, his club AC Milan said on Sunday, which appears to have put his participation at the World Cup in serious doubt.
Serie A: AC Milan's Lucas Biglia suffers 'severe' back injury, faces race against time to be fit for World Cup
Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia has suffered a back injury, his club AC Milan said on Sunday, which appears to have put his participation at the World Cup in serious doubt.
Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan vs Napoli - San Siro, Milan, Italy - April 15, 2018 AC Milan's Lucas Biglia issues instructions from a note REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
Serie A - AC Milan vs Napoli
Soccer Football - Serie A - AC Milan vs Napoli - San Siro, Milan, Italy - April 15, 2018 AC Milan's Lucas Biglia issues instructions from a note REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo
Lucas Biglia could be in a race to return to full fitness in time for the World Cup after suffering a back injury playing for AC Milan.
Argentina blow as Biglia suffers 'severe' back injury on AC Milan duty
Lucas Biglia could be in a race to return to full fitness in time for the World Cup after suffering a back injury playing for AC Milan.
The Rossoneri's "downward spiral" continued as they were beaten by the struggling side and have not won in six games, leaving the coach embarrassed
Gattuso 'embarrassed' by 'soulless' AC Milan in loss to Benevento
The Rossoneri's "downward spiral" continued as they were beaten by the struggling side and have not won in six games, leaving the coach embarrassed
<p>Gattuso &#39;embarrassed&#39; by &#39;soulless&#39; AC Milan in loss to Benevento</p>
Gattuso 'embarrassed' by 'soulless' AC Milan in loss to Benevento

Gattuso 'embarrassed' by 'soulless' AC Milan in loss to Benevento

<p>Gattuso &#39;embarrassed&#39; by &#39;soulless&#39; AC Milan in loss to Benevento</p>
Gattuso 'embarrassed' by 'soulless' AC Milan in loss to Benevento

Gattuso 'embarrassed' by 'soulless' AC Milan in loss to Benevento

<p>Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers &#39;severe&#39; back injury in Milan defeat</p>
Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers 'severe' back injury in Milan defeat

Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers 'severe' back injury in Milan defeat

Lucas Biglia could be in a race to return to full fitness in time for the World Cup after suffering a back injury playing for AC Milan.
Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers 'severe' back injury in Milan defeat
Lucas Biglia could be in a race to return to full fitness in time for the World Cup after suffering a back injury playing for AC Milan.
<p>Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers &#39;severe&#39; back injury in Milan defeat</p>
Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers 'severe' back injury in Milan defeat

Argentina midfielder Biglia suffers 'severe' back injury in Milan defeat

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg - Arsenal vs AC Milan - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - March 15, 2018 AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reacts REUTERS/David Klein/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg - Arsenal vs AC Milan
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg - Arsenal vs AC Milan - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - March 15, 2018 AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reacts REUTERS/David Klein/File Photo
It was a stellar day of football across Europe which kept the fans glued. From domestic leagues, Cup ties to Cup finale, we had it all on an action-packed Saturday. Barcelona sealed the Copa del Rey once again. Manchester United reached the FA Cup final as AC Milan were stunned at home by bottom placed Serie A side. Catch all the action!
Football: Barca win Copa del Rey, ManU defeat Spurs
It was a stellar day of football across Europe which kept the fans glued. From domestic leagues, Cup ties to Cup finale, we had it all on an action-packed Saturday. Barcelona sealed the Copa del Rey once again. Manchester United reached the FA Cup final as AC Milan were stunned at home by bottom placed Serie A side. Catch all the action!
Gennaro Gattuso revealed his &quot;incredible shame&quot; after Saturday&#39;s humiliating 1-0 defeat to Benevento at the San Siro saw AC Milan become the first team to fail to beat the tailenders this season.
Serie A: AC Milan 'ashamed' after suffering narrow defeat to relegation-threatened Benevento
Gennaro Gattuso revealed his "incredible shame" after Saturday's humiliating 1-0 defeat to Benevento at the San Siro saw AC Milan become the first team to fail to beat the tailenders this season.
The Rossoneri&#39;s &quot;downward spiral&quot; continued as they were beaten by the struggling side and have not won in six games, leaving the coach embarrassed
Gattuso 'embarrassed' by 'soulless' AC Milan in loss to Benevento
The Rossoneri's "downward spiral" continued as they were beaten by the struggling side and have not won in six games, leaving the coach embarrassed
Head coach Gennaro Gattuso admits AC Milan are on a &quot;downward spiral&quot; and have significant psychological failings.
Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after 'embarrassing' Benevento loss
Head coach Gennaro Gattuso admits AC Milan are on a "downward spiral" and have significant psychological failings.
<p>Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after &#39;embarrassing&#39; Benevento loss</p>
Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after 'embarrassing' Benevento loss

Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after 'embarrassing' Benevento loss

<p>Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after &#39;embarrassing&#39; Benevento loss</p>
Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after 'embarrassing' Benevento loss

Gattuso, Mirabelli apologise to Milan fans after 'embarrassing' Benevento loss

The momentum advantage goes to Roma ahead of this week&#39;s Champions League semifinal vs. Liverpool.
Serie A: Roma prep for Liverpool by beating SPAL; Benevento win at Milan
The momentum advantage goes to Roma ahead of this week's Champions League semifinal vs. Liverpool.
The momentum advantage goes to Roma ahead of this week&#39;s Champions League semifinal vs. Liverpool.
Serie A: Roma prep for Liverpool by beating SPAL; Benevento win at Milan
The momentum advantage goes to Roma ahead of this week's Champions League semifinal vs. Liverpool.
AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso calls out to his players during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso calls out to his players during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso calls out to his players during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Benevento goalkeeper Chistian Puggioni, left, and AC Milan&#39;s Patrick Cutrone jump for the ball during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Benevento goalkeeper Chistian Puggioni, left, and AC Milan's Patrick Cutrone jump for the ball during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Benevento goalkeeper Chistian Puggioni, left, and AC Milan's Patrick Cutrone jump for the ball during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, right, saves as Benevento&#39;s Pietro Iemmello tries to score during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, right, saves as Benevento's Pietro Iemmello tries to score during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, right, saves as Benevento's Pietro Iemmello tries to score during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Benevento players celebrate after their teammate Pietro Iemmello scored their side&#39;s first goal during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Benevento players celebrate after their teammate Pietro Iemmello scored their side's first goal during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Benevento players celebrate after their teammate Pietro Iemmello scored their side's first goal during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan&#39;s Patrick Cutrone lies on the ground after he failed a scoring chance during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan's Patrick Cutrone lies on the ground after he failed a scoring chance during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
AC Milan's Patrick Cutrone lies on the ground after he failed a scoring chance during a Serie A soccer match between AC Milan and Benevento, at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Saturday, April 21, 2018. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Milan&#39;s players show their dejection at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy. EFE
Milan's players show their dejection at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy. EFE
Milan's players show their dejection at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy. EFE
Milan (Italy), 21/04/2018.- Benevento&#39;s players celebrate the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 21 April 2018. (Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI
Milan (Italy), 21/04/2018.- Benevento's players celebrate the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 21 April 2018. (Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI
Milan (Italy), 21/04/2018.- Benevento's players celebrate the victory at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 21 April 2018. (Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI
Milan (Italy), 21/04/2018.- Milan&#39;s players show their dejection at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 21 April 2018. (Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI
Milan (Italy), 21/04/2018.- Milan's players show their dejection at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 21 April 2018. (Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI
Milan (Italy), 21/04/2018.- Milan's players show their dejection at the end of the Italian Serie A soccer match AC Milan vs Benevento Calcio at Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan, Italy, 21 April 2018. (Italia) EFE/EPA/MATTEO BAZZI

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