Champions League Semifinals Preview AS Roma vs Liverpool

Friday, April 27th, 2018

By Jonathan Willis
BETCRIS Champions League Liverpool vs Roma

It may be turning midnight on Roma’s Champions League dream. The club has done very well to get to this point. Roma had to outlast Shakhtar Donetsk in the Round of 16 and incredibly knocked off Barcelona 3-0 at home in order to make it to the semifinals.

Now, Roma must find a way to best a burgeoning English juggernaut. Liverpool has been something special this season. Mo Salah has been exactly what this team has needed, and he is leading the club back to the promised land. They are in great shape heading into the second leg of this tie and are looking to claim their first Champions League in over a decade.

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AS Roma vs. Liverpool

Date and Time: May 2, 2018, 2:45 p.m. ET

Location: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

Television Coverage: FS1

Betting Line: Roma PK, O/U 3.5

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First Leg

Salah stole the show in Anfield on Tuesday night. He has risen to the occasion at every level of every competition and it didn’t take long before he made his presence felt.

Roma controlled the early run of play, but Liverpool started to dominate after about 20 minutes. Salah was able to set up Sadio Mane for a few good chances, but Mane was unable to convert.

Like any good leader, that’s when Salah took the match into his own hands. He scored the first two goals of the game, mesmerizing us with his brilliance. After halftime, he made it 3-0 Liverpool by giving Mane a freebie in front of the net, and then he was able to help Roberto Firmino pick up a brace too.

At 5-0, that should have been all she wrote. However, he was subbed off in the 75th minute, and the momentum changed from that point on. Danny Ings was not able to create the same magic that Salah did, and Roma scored two goals in order to give themselves a chance.

Injury report

Roma might be without two members of their team when they face Liverpool on Wednesday. Defender Kevin Strootman suffered a rib injury against Liverpool and is considered questionable for the match. More important perhaps is the status of Diego Perotti. Perotti gave the team a spark off the bench and was a catalyst for the two goals.

The Reds have three long-term injuries to mention. Emre Can, Adam Lallana, and Joel Matip are all sidelined for a while longer. Liverpool is also not optimistic about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dressing for this match after he suffered a knee injury that looked pretty bad last week. Mane is considered likely to play, but he is listed on the injury report so keep an eye on that.

What to watch for

It will be interesting to see what tactics Jurgen Klopp adopts for this match. In Liverpool’s two previous Champions League ties, the club raced out to a big lead and was then content to sit back and play defense in order to advance. The second legs turned out to be low scoring affairs, but he might try something different this time.

Barcelona was punished for doing the same thing, so Liverpool may decide to play its normal brand of football. They were very successful against Roma’s defense in the first leg, so why not do it again?

Champions League Semifinals Free Picks

The under is worth a play here since it is so high. Yes, Roma will have to push the pace in order to try to get goals, but Liverpool will play a possession-based game and quash those plans. I think that Roma will get the victory here, yet it won’t be enough for the club to make the final.

Champions League Semifinals Prediction: AS Roma 2, Liverpool 1

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