Preview: Brighton vs Roma – Team News, Lineups & Prediction

High-flying Roma will touch down at the Amex Stadium to see off Brighton & Hove Albion in their one-sided Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday. Giallorossi did most of the heavy lifting in last week’s first leg at the Stadio Olimpico, claiming a stunning 4-0 victory to put one foot in the quarter-finals. 

Brighton’s first-ever appearance in major European competition seems destined to end here unless they can pull off one of the most spectacular comebacks in Europa League history. In fact, Roberto De Zerbi’s team must make history to achieve progression, as no side has ever overturned a four-goal first-leg deficit to reach the next round in Europe’s second-tier tournament. 

That humiliating result in Rome was the Seagulls’ third consecutive defeat without a reply. But on a more positive note, Brighton bounced back from that disastrous run with a hard-earned 1-0 home win against Premier League underachievers Nottingham Forest on Sunday. Playing in East Sussex gives them a fighting chance, yet Roma are still in firm control of this tie. 

Diego Llorente’s last-gasp volley salvaged a 2-2 draw for Daniele De Rossi’s side at Fiorentina on Sunday, extending their unbeaten streak in all competitions to seven games (W5, D2). However, after experiencing several disastrous defeats on English soil during the 21st century, Roma will not take this trip lightly despite their resurgence under Jose Mourinho’s successor. 

Match Preview

Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton will not give up their hopes of staging a miracle courtesy of their decent home record against continental giants this season. De Zerbi’s lads defeated former European champions Ajax and Marseille at the Amex without conceding in the Europa League group stages, proving they can cope with every opposition on their own home patch.

Another clean sheet might be a prerequisite for Brighton to turn this tie on its head, but scoring four times could be a tall order. To put the size of the task in perspective, the last time the Seagulls sealed a home victory, which would guarantee their progression from this tie, was in April 2023 when they hammered Wolverhampton Wanderers 6-0.

It’s, however, worth noting that they’ve netted precisely four goals in two of their last five home outings.


De Rossi has galvanized Giallorossi’s away performances since replacing Mourinho at the helm. The former midfielder has yet to lose a competitive match on the road since taking charge, with his side netting 2+ goals in four of their five travels under his stewardship (W3, D2). You’d think another such display would put this tie beyond Brighton’s reach.

Yet, history tells a different story. Back in 2020/21, Roma carried a first-leg lead into their trip to Old Trafford to meet Manchester United in this competition, only to slump to a 6-2 defeat. That result worsened their overall European record against English clubs (W14, D11, L15) and should serve as a stark reminder not to take anything for granted.

Nonetheless, Roma fans would be forgiven for viewing their side among Europa League quarter-finalists even before Thursday’s kick-off. 

Team News

Brighton will lack several key first-team players for this fixture. Jack Hinshelwood, Kaoru Mitoma, James Milner, Joao Pedro, and Solly March are not at De Zerbi’s disposal due to various fitness problems. Perhaps surprisingly, Lewis Dunk could be the Seagulls’ danger man after scoring in two of his last three home appearances.

On the other hand, Roma can’t call upon their two center-forwards for this trip. Romelu Lukaku picked up a knock against Fiorentina, joining long-term absentee Tammy Abraham on the sidelines. But De Rossi will probably make several changes to the starting XI that thumped Brighton last week to rest some overused stars.

Brighton vs Roma Potential Lineups

Brighton (4-2-3-1): Jason Steele; Tariq Lamptey, Lewis Dunk, Jan Paul van Hecke, Pervis Estupinan; Billy Gilmour, Pascal Gross; Simon Adingra, Adam Lallana, Ansu Fati; Danny Welbeck.

Roma (4-3-3): Mile Svilar; Zeki Celik, Gianluca Mancini, Evan Ndicka, Leonardo Spinazzola; Edoardo Bove, Lenadro Paredes, Lorenzo Pellegrini; Tommaso Baldanzi, Sardar Azmoun, Nicola Zalewski.

Brighton vs Roma Prediction

Losing wouldn’t be the end of the world for Roma as long as they don’t concede four goals. With De Rossi likely to field an understrength lineup, we expect Brighton to secure a futile win.

Prediction: Brighton Win (Roma to progress)

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