Europa League draw: Profiling Roma’s group stage opponents

Roma have been drawn in Group G for the 2023-24 Europa League after reaching the final of the competition last season.

Their opponents will be Slavia Prague, Sheriff Tiraspol and Servette after the draw was conducted on Friday. Here, Giallorossi Yorkshire looks at the three opponents in more detail.

Slavia Prague

Coming from the Czech capital, Slavia Prague were founded in 1892. They were runners up in the Czech First League in 2022-23, behind their cross-city rivals Sparta Prague.

After overcoming Dnipro 4-1 on aggregate in the third qualifying round and beating another Ukrainian side, Zorya Luhansk, 3-2 over two legs in the play-off round, Slavia earned their place in the group stage for the first time since 2020.

Last season, Slavia were in the Conference League, but failed to make it out of the group stage.

Still managed by Jindrich Trpisovsky, who has been in coaching since he was 20 years old and took the Slavia job back in 2017, their squad contains Czech international midfielders David Doudera and Lukas Provod, plus attacker Mojmir Chytil.

Roma have been drawn against Slavia once before, for the quarter-finals of the 1995-96 UEFA Cup, during Carlo Mazzone’s last season in charge of the Giallorossi. After losing 2-0 on Czech soil, Roma claimed the same scoreline back on home turf thanks to goals from Francesco Moriero and Giuseppe Giannini to take the tie to extra time. However, despite Moriero scoring a second, Jiri Vavra scored a crucial away goal for Slavia to put them through.

Slavia were eliminated in the semi-finals and have never got that far again since.

As for Roma’s other meetings with Czech sides since, they faced Viktoria Plzen in the 2016-17 Europa League group stage and the 2018-19 Champions League group stage, amassing two wins, one draw and one defeat.

Sheriff Tiraspol

Representing the Moldovan league, but identifying as being from the unrecognised breakaway state of Transnistria, Sheriff Tiraspol were only set up in 1997 but famously beat Real Madrid during the 2021-22 Champions League.

Their participation in last season’s Europa League ended at the group stage, but they dropped into the Conference League, where they eventually lost to Nice in the round of 16.

This season, after winning their domestic division, they came through the Champions League qualifiers but lost in the second round, dropping into the Europa League, where they progressed past BATE Borisov and Icelandic outfit KI to reach the groups.

Roma have never played against Sheriff before, nor any side from Moldova. In fact, the only Italian team Sheriff have faced before was Inter in 2021-22, losing both Champions League group games 3-1.

Sheriff’s head coach is Roberto Bordin, who spent his entire playing career in Italy with clubs like Atalanta and Napoli. He returned to Sheriff for a second spell in charge from January 2023.

The club’s best Europa League run before was to the knockout play-off round the season before last, where they only lost on penalties to Braga.


Rounding out the group are bottom seed, Servette. Runners up of the 2022-23 Swiss Super League, they are based in Geneva and have existed since 1890.

Servette have a new manager this season, their former player Rene Weller. Rangers dumped them from the Champions League qualifiers into the Europa League, where they will be playing in the group stage for the first time. Previously, the furthest they went in the old UEFA Cup was the fourth round in 2001-02.

They have had no previous meetings with Roma or any other Italian clubs. The closest link between the two was that they were in the same Women’s Champions League qualifying path last season, but Paris FC beat Servette to prevent them meeting eventual quarter-finalists Roma.

The men’s side of Roma, meanwhile, were in Switzerland as recently as 2020, when they faced Young Boys in the Europa League group stage.

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