Vitesse v Roma preview: Back to Europa Conference League commitments

Roma resume their Europa Conference League campaign on Thursday with the first leg of their Round of 16 clash with Vitesse.

After winning their group during the first half of the season, Roma advanced straight to the last-16, waiting for the outcome of the play-offs to see who they would next face. Vitesse, who were the runners up in their group behind Rennes and above Jose Mourinho’s former side Tottenham, before beating Rapid Wien over two legs, are the opponents.

Roma have travelled to the Netherlands for the first leg. It is their first time playing in the country since the quarter-finals of last season’s Europa League, against Ajax. On that occasion, Roma brought a draw back from the away leg before advancing with a home win.

Any way to get through will do for a club that can view this competition as their only chance this season of ending a trophy drought stretching back to 2008. This is their first hurdle of many in the knockout phase.

Vitesse v Roma team news

In an attempt to overcome it, Mourinho will not make too many changes to his starting XI. Among those who could come in to the 3-5-2 shape are midfielder Sergio Oliveira and left-back Matias Vina, although the latter will once again face competition from Nicola Zalewski for the role.

Marash Kumbulla should keep his place at centre-back despite his impending suspension for one match in Serie A; in fact, the whole back three has been predicted to be the same as at the weekend. Up front, Tammy Abraham is likely to lead the line, looking to extend his record as this competition’s leading goalscorer.

Vitesse – who go into this game on the back of a 4-1 win over NEC – are expected to match Roma up with a 3-5-2 formation of their own.

It will be interesting to see how it all pans out before the reverse fixture in a week’s time. It is worth remembering that the away goals rule is no longer valid – not that it would harm Roma to score, of course (rather the opposite).

Every European Roma game to be decided by away goals

This match kicks off at 5:45pm UK time. It will be available to watch via the red button on BT Sport Extra 2.


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