Roma v Bodo/Glimt preview: Must-win fourth meeting with Conference League foes

It’s a must-win game for Roma as they host Bodo/Glimt for their fourth meeting this season on Thursday.

All three previous attempts to beat the northern Norwegians have not been successful in this year’s Europa Conference League. In the group stage, it did not matter, as Roma still advanced. But after losing the first leg of the quarter-final 2-1, they will be out of the competition unless they can win this time.

In front of a sell-out crowd of more than 65,000 fans, Roma will be hoping to finally make use of their theoretical superiority over Bodo. But if the past three meetings this season have shown anything, it won’t be easy.

Add the potential return of Bodo forward Ola Solbakken – who missed the first leg – into the mix and Roma cannot hide from the task ahead of them. However, Jose Mourinho said after the first leg that he still believed his players would go through. Now, it is time to put that theory to the test.

Roma v Bodo/Glimt team news

To stand the best chance of getting to the next round, there have been reports that Roma will use the same starting XI from their Derby Della Capitale win just before the international break. That would mean Gianluca Mancini would be back as a starter after coming off the bench at the weekend following an injury in the previous leg. Captain Lorenzo Pellegrini – who scored last week in Norway – can also return after his domestic suspension. Overall, the only change from the return leg should see Chris Smalling replace Marash Kumbulla.

Glimt, meanwhile, will be without their head coach Kjetil Knutsen due to a UEFA investigation after his recent clash with Roma goalkeeper coach Nuno Santos, also suspended for the second leg.

Players from both sides will simply have to put any of that drama behind them and focus on the importance of the task at hand when the whistle blows.

The winners will play PSV or Leicester – who drew their first leg – in the semi-finals. Their match starts at 5:45pm, so Roma should know by kick-off who their next opponents would be if they can go on to overturn the deficit.

Roma’s game kicks off at 8pm UK time and they will be hoping it is not their last in the first ever Europa Conference League. It will be shown on BT Sport 3 after the Leicester game, but only from 15 minutes in.

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