Roma vs Feyenoord: Europa League Preview, Lineups & Prediction

The decisive chapter of a closely-contested Europa League quarter-final tie between Roma and Feyenoord takes place at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday. After the Dutch side’s 1-0 win in Rotterdam, last season’s Europa Conference League finalists reconvene in the Italian capital with a place in the semi-finals at stake. 

Feyenoord ruthlessly punished Lorenzo Pellegrini’s miss from the spot toward the end of the first half as Mats Wieffer fired Arne Slot’s side to a narrow victory at De Kuip. Despite heading into the return leg with a lead in the bag, the visitors’ mission to avenge last season’s Europa Conference League heartbreak is only at the halfway point. 

Aware of the size of the task awaiting them in Rome, Feyenoord encountered Eredivisie minnows Cambuur with a much-changed lineup on Sunday. However, Slot’s tactical alterations did no favor to the Eredivise basement boys as De Stadionclub steamrolled to a 3-0 triumph to preserve a substantial eight-point lead at the summit. 

While a ninth straight league triumph inched Feyenoord closer to lifting their first Eredivisie title since 2016/17, Roma solidified their pursuit of a first top-four finish in Serie A since 2017/18 with an identical win over Udinese at home on Sunday. 

Known as unpleasant customers on home turf, Roma delivered another assuring performance at the Stadio Olimpico to set themselves up nicely for this clash. Jose Mourinho’s men have won seven of their last eight competitive home games without conceding (L1), reinforcing their belief in pulling off a comeback.

Overturning a one-goal deficit is not beyond Roma’s capabilities, as witnessed by their come-from-behind aggregate triumph over RB Salzburg in this season’s Europa League round-of-32 tie. Indeed, the Giallorossi lost the first leg 1-0 in Austria before cruising to a 2-0 home win in the return fixture. 

Match Preview


Virtually unplayable at home, Roma have won ten of their 12 competitive matches at the Stadio Olimpico in 2023 ‘to nil’ (L2). Their outrageous home form alone should be enough to boost the Giallorossi’s bid to progress from a fourth consecutive UEFA knockout tie after losing the first leg by a one-goal margin. 

It’s also worth noting that the first-leg disappointment in Rotterdam halted their impressive eight-match unbeaten run against Dutch opponents (W4, D4). On a less positive note, all four draws in that sequence came in Rome via an identical 1-1 scoreline. 

An unwanted piece of history is looming, as after drawing a blank in their last two Europa League fixtures, Roma could go three consecutive European games without scoring for the first time since 2016. But given the star power at Mourinho’s disposal, that seems highly unlikely.

Player to Watch: Paulo Dybala

After hobbling off the pitch midway through the first half in last week’s first leg, Paulo Dybala will be keen to make amends in Rome. The Argentine forward was the architect of Roma’s comeback against Salzburg and will be looking to apply the same strategy on Thursday.


Feyenoord cannot afford to let their slim advantage tuck them into a false sense of security. Taking on Italian opposition outside their homeland has been a disturbing experience for De Stadionclub, as they’ve gone winless in their last four away clashes against Serie A clubs in major European competitions (D1, L3) since beating Inter in 2002.

Speaking of Feyenoord’s travel sickness, they are currently winless in their last five away outings in Europe (D3, L2), including a 1-1 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk in the previous Europa League knockout round. Yet since sharing the spoils with the Ukrainian powerhouse, Slot’s men have won three consecutive away matches, netting precisely three goals on each occasion. 

Player to Watch: Santiago Gimenez

Heavily linked with a high-profile summer move, Mexican striker Santiago Gimenez will be under the spotlight after his deadlock-breaker against Cambuur fired him in contention for the Eredivisie top scorer.

Team News

While standout attacking duo Dybala and Tammy Abraham are in contention for the matchday squad after overcoming minor fitness problems, Roma will be without Rick Karsdorp and Ola Solbakken. 

After being rested at the weekend, Nemanja Matic should regain his place at the heart of Mourinho’s engine room alongside former Feyenoord youth academy graduate Georginio Wijnaldum. Roger Ibanez should also make his way back to the starting XI at the expense of Diego Llorente. 

On the other hand, Feyenoord will welcome first-choice goalkeeper Justin Bijlow back after the Dutchman missed out on the first leg with a wrist injury. Like in Rotterdam, Quinten Timber will be on the sidelines with a long-term knee problem. 

Luckily for Slot, his men avoided picking up fresh injury concerns at the weekend. But Igor Paixao, who started against Cambuur, may have to make way for Alireza Jahanbakhsh. 

Roma vs Feyenoord Potential Lineups

Roma (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Nicola Zalewski, Nemanja Matic, Georginio Wijnaldum, Leonardo Spinazzola; Lorenzo Pellegrini, Paulo Dybala; Tammy Abraham. 

Feyenoord (4-3-3): Justin Bijlow; Lutsharel Geertruida, Gernot Trauner, David Hancko, Quilindschy Hartman; Orkun Kokcu, Mats Wieffer, Sebastian Szymanski; Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Santiago Gimenez, Oussama Idrissi. 

Roma vs Feyenoord Prediction

With the accumulated know-how of Mourinho and his expensively-assembled cast of experienced European campaigners, Roma will fancy their chances of overturning a slender deficit at a sold-out Stadio Olimpico.

Given the Italians’ penchants for beating their rivals ‘to nil,’ this is a task the Special One is very familiar with as we back the Giallorossi to book a semi-final date.

Prediction: Roma to progress

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