Manchester United vs Roma Preview: Team news, ones to watch, predicted line ups, kick-off time and how to watch
MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 10: General view of the scoreboard during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final, second leg match between Manchester United and AS Roma at Old Trafford on April 10, 2007 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Manchester United welcome AS Roma to Old Trafford on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League semifinal tie as they look to break their recent curse and reach a final for the first time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the fifth time of asking. 

With United’s 7-1 drumming of Roma in 2007 still fresh in the memories of many fans, Thursday’s affair promises to be a bubbling cauldron of emotions for both teams. 

Having already overcome Italian opposition in AC Milan a few rounds ago, United will now be hoping they can topple the Roman Empire to the same effect. 

Team News 

Eric Bailly and Marcus Rashford are both in contention to feature for United. Striker Rashford has been carrying a foot problem, but is available for Thursday's game. 

Anthony Martial remains absent from the squad after picking up an injury on international duty, while Phil Jones extends his prolonged spell on the sidelines. 

Solskjaer confirmed United had come out unscathed from their 0-0 draw at Elland Road, with no new injury worries to mention. 

Former United defender Chris Smalling is likely to feature following a short spell out with a thigh injury he looks likely to overcome in time for his Old Trafford return. 

However, Pedro will be sidelined through injury, while Riccardo Calafiori and Nicolo Zaniolo have also not travelled to Manchester. Gianluca Mancini will also miss out through suspension. 

Predicted Lineups 

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba, Cavani 

Roma: Lopez, Smalling, Ibanez, Jesus, Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Spinazolla, Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan, Dzeko 

Match Facts (via Opta) 

This will be the seventh meeting between Manchester United and Roma in European competition, while the Red Devils have only lost one of the previous six (W4 D1) - all of which have been in the UEFA Champions League. 

Roma have lost all three of their previous away games against Manchester United, conceding nine goals and scoring just once in return. This will be their first such trip since April 2008, when they lost 0-1 in a UEFA Champions League quarter-final. 

Manchester United have only lost one of their last 12 games against Italian opponents in European competition (W8 D3), with the only defeat in this run coming at home to Juventus in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2018-19. 

Roma will be looking for their first European victory away to English opponents since February 2001 (1-0 v Liverpool  in the UEFA Cup), having failed to win any of their last 12 such games against seven different English sides (D4 L8). 

Manchester United haven't lost at home in a European semi-final since April 1997 (0-1 v Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League), winning four and drawing three of their last seven such games. 

Roma have won all five of their games after the group stages in the UEFA Europa League this season - they last won more in a single UEFA Cup/Europa League campaign in 1990-91 (7), a season in which they went on to reach the final. 

Since making his debut in the competition in February 2018, Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in more goals in the UEFA Europa League than any other player (26 - 17 goals and nine assists). 

Roma striker Edin Dzeko has scored five goals in four previous games against Manchester United at Old Trafford, including a brace in each of his last two there while playing for Manchester City (in October 2011 and March 2014). 

Player to watch 

Henrikh Mkhitaryan 

With a goal involvement every 135 minutes this season, Mkhitaryan looks back to his dazzling best in a Roma shirt following his disappointing spell in England.  

Often deployed from the left as an inverted winger, Mkhitaryan’s playmaking ability paired with his instinctive finishing make him a real tough customer for whoever is unfortunate enough to be tasked with marking him. 

How to watch 

The game will be broadcast live on BT Sport, with coverage starting at 19:15 BST, with kick off at 20:00 BST. 

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