Wolfsberger AC pulled off a very impressive win in their first UEFA Europa League match against a tough Borussia Monchengladbach squad and they will certainly be hoping for much of the same come Thursday evening against Serie A opponents AS Roma.
Wolfsberger are having a decent start to the season, as they are currently siting in third place in the Austrian Bundesliga with 19 total points. Which is only one point behind second place. They also impressed in their first Europa League match winning the game 4-0.
Their opponents on the other side of the pitch, AS Roma, were also impressive in their first Europa League clash beating Istanbul Basaksehir F.K 4-0 as well. Roma are currently in fifth place in Serie A after some early ups and downs this season, but coach Paulo Fonseca looks to finally have his team headed in the right direction.
Wolfsberger (4-3-1-2): Alexander Kofler; Michael Novak, Michael Sollbauer, Nemanja Rnic, Lukas Schmitz; Romano Schmid, Mario Leitgeb, Marcel Ritzmaier; Michael Liendl; Shon Weissman, Anderson Niangbo
AS Roma (4-2-3-1): Pau Lopez; Alessandro Florenzi, Gianluca Mancini, Federico Fazio, Leonardo Spinazzola; Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara; Nicolo Zaniolo, Javier Pastore, Justin Kluivert; Nikola Kalinic
Wolfsberger look to be missing goalkeeper Marko Soldo due to a ligament injury. But on the bright side he looks to be the only player out injured for Wolfsberger.
The Giallorossi have a small injury crisis as they look to be missing Mert Cetin, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Diego Perotti and Cengiz Under all due to injuries. This leaves Roma a little thin with attacking options for Thursday's match.
Who to watch
Wolfsberger look to have quite the talented attack, therefore look for the likes of Shon Weissman, Anderson Niangbo and attacking-midfielder Michael Liendl. Weissman has been lights out in the Austrian Bundesliga scoring nine goals and adding one assist in just eight appearances. Not be outdone, Niangbo has six goals and four assists in nine league appearances. Lastly, the setup man Liendl has been influential also. Contributing three goals and six assists in his nine league appearances.
On the Roma side, look for young 20-year-old talent Nicolo Zaniolo was very impressive in Roma's first Europa League match, collecting a goal and an assist in that one. The other young talent to keep an eye on would be Justin Kluivert, who has two goals in all competitions for Roma this season. Also, Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic looks set to make his first Roma start on Thursday hoping to recover his goal scoring form and help Roma steal a victory in Austria.
Winner of this match will take possession of first place in the Group J standings and even though it is only two games in, it would be a good place to be in. Both teams play an attacking style of football, and both teams are capable of scoring, so expect some goals in this one.
Wolfsberger will be hoping to exploit some of the injuries Roma have and take advantage of an inconsistent defence. Roma will be hoping they can ride their recent momentum to another victory and continue to grow their confidence under new coach Paulo Fonseca.
This Group J Europa League clash takes place on Thursday evening at the Lavanttal-Arena in Wolfsberg, Austria. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:55 p.m (GMT+1).