The highly anticipated Europa League tie between Roma and Feyenoord is nearly upon us. Second in Italy plays third in the Netherlands in this round of 32 tie.

  • By Michael Statham and Bas Vos
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fey eutIn terms of injuries, for Feyenoord Manu (groin) is definitely out, whilst van Beek is a doubt after injuring his knee against Heracles which forced him to be substituted. Luke Wilkshire has returned following a hamstring problem. As for Roma, the injury list is growing with Iturbe (knee), Castán (head), Strootman (knee) and Ibarbo (calf) all ruled out as well as a suspended Holebas. However Maicon, Totti, Ljajić and Pjanić are likely to make the match after returning from time out on the sidelines.

Feyenoord come into this match on the back of their disappointing 2-0 defeat against struggling Heracles Almelo on Saturday. Meanwhile Roma have only won one league game out of their last 7 following their stalemate at home to Parma.

The Dutch side’s chances in this tie could depend on the strength of the Roma team picked. The Serie A club sit in second place, 7 points behind Juventus. They have a key game against the leaders only a few days after the second leg in Rotterdam, which could mean a weakened side put out by Rudi Garcia in a week’s time. A victory in the home tie then could be key for the Giallorossi. The Frenchman has stated he wants to challenge on three fronts and he won’t take the Europa League lightly, saying, “We’ll be putting 100 percent into the competition. We want to go a long way in the Europa League. We know we’re a good side.”

On the other side of the fence, Fred Rutten says, “We must ensure that we see another Feyenoord on Thursday,” after witnessing a poor display in Almelo. He knows his side are the underdogs but Feyenoord should take heart from their excellent performances that helped them top Group G. Along the way the club won four out of the six group matches, including when they achieved their first European away win in their last 10 attempts at Standard Liège (3-0). The Rotterdammers even beat group favourites and Europa League holders Sevilla 2-0 in De Kuip. Clearly the current players have the quality and workrate needed to beat Roma over two legs, but it will be a tough ask for a relatively young Feyenoord side working on a much lower budget than the Italians.

Possible line-ups:

Roma: Skorupski – Torosidis Astori Manolas Cole – Keita De Rossi Nainggolan – Gervinho Doumbia Ljajić

Feyenoord: Vermeer – Wilkshire Boulahrouz Kongolo Nelom – El Ahmadi Immers Clasie – Toornstra Kazim-Richards Boëtius.

Players to watch

niagRadja Nainggolan

The Belgian has stood out in Roma’s midfield this season with his all round ability. His strong passing and tackling attributes make the loss of Dutchman Kevin Strootman to another long term injury less noticeable. Nainggolan made his move from fellow Serie A side Cagliari permanent last summer after impressing on loan.

clas feyJordy Clasie

The 23 year old has been bossing Feyenoord’s midfield for several years now. He is a strong tackler who can read the game remarkably well. Clasie will look to raise eyebrows on a European stage for Feyenoord in big games such as this one, in order to earn himself a move to a top team in the continent this summer.

doumbiaSeydou Doumbia

Fresh from winning the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, Doumbia will be looking to start this game to show his worth after his recent €14.4 million move from CSKA Moscow. Italian papers have divided opinions on whether Doumbia will start the match due to the fitness of Totti being doubtful. If he does start then the big striker will use his pace and strength to beat the Feyenoord defence.

Misses next match if booked: Nainggolan, Maicon (Roma), El Ahmadi, Immers, Kazim-Richards, Nelom, Wilkshire (Feyenoord)

Kick-off: 19:00 CET, 18:00 GMT

Referee: Ovidiu Haţegan

Michael Statham (762 Posts)

Writer/interviewer/YouTuber for Football-Oranje. Massive Dutch football fan from the UK. Follow me @EredivisieMike & subscribe to Football-Oranje on YouTube.