Looking to determine their European fate this term, it’s Slavia Prague vs Roma on Thursday in a Group G Europa League contest from Fortuna Arena. The visitors are hoping to maintain their 100% record in Europe this term when they head to the Czech capital, whilst the Red and Whites are aiming to bounce back from their 2-0 loss in the reverse fixture.
Slavia Prague are still in a healthy position to qualify from the group, even if they suffer two defeats against Roma. They currently sit on six points, having already beaten Servette and Sheriff Tiraspol so far. A win for the home side would create an interesting battle for first-place.
Jose Mourinho’s side will be looking for their seventh victory in eight games on Thursday, with their upturn in form drastically improving their league position. They sit just four points behind champions Napoli, despite recording the victory in just one of their opening six Serie A outings. So, without further ado, we’re ready to take a look at our Slavia Prague vs Roma preview.
Slavia Prague Preview
Losing two of their last three games leaves head coach Jindrich Trpisovsky under a bit of pressure heading into this one. Slavia Prague were on a run of nine games unbeaten across all competitions before their trip to Stadio Olimpico at the end of October, but they have suffered a slight dip since.
The Red and Whites bounced back in their match straight after the loss in Rome by defeating Bohemians 2-0 on the road, courtesy of goals from Michal Tomic and Mojmir Chytil. However, they suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Viktoria Plzen on Sunday, despite Mick van Buren putting Slavia Prague a goal ahead in the first half. The loss means that they now trail their cross-city rivals Sparta Prague by two points in the Czech First League.
A European return to Fortuna Arena should bode well for Trpisovsky’s men since their only home match in the Europa League this term yielded a vehement 6-0 triumph over Sheriff Tiraspol. They currently sit in second-place in Group G and trail Roma by just three points. A win here could seal both side’s future in the next round, providing there isn’t a winner between Servette and Sheriff.
One To Watch: Mick van Buren
The Dutch forward led the line when Slavia Prague played at the Olimpico and he looks set to continue that role here after scoring at the weekend against Plzen. The 31-year-old has also managed to score four league goals this term.
The Giallorossi are in danger of overlooking Thursday night’s Europa League away clash against Slavia Prague. All the talk has been about Sunday’s Derby della Capitale matchup against Lazio, especially with Mourinho bemoaning over the Biancocelesti having an extra two days preparation. Complacency is an element to consider, too, after Edoardo Bove and Romelu Lukaku led Roma to a comfortable victory against Slavia Prague during Round 3.
It would be easy to slip up in this one since Roma currently lead the way in Group G, having won all three of their opening matches, conceding just one goal in the process. Their European form has been superb but they are in danger of being leapfrogged by their opponents here if they suffer a defeat. Thursday’s affair is still extremely significant for Roma and a win would seal their fate into the knockouts, as well as a top spot in the group.
Roma have looked back on form of late and have suffered just one defeat over their last seven games, winning the other six. Their only defeat came against Serie A leaders Inter. It wasn’t plain sailing on Sunday at home to Lecce, though. Two injury-time goals by the hosts managed to turn a loss into a win, with Sardar Azmoun and Romelu Lukaku hitting the back of the net to rescue all three points in conspicuous fashion.
One To Watch: Nicola Zalewski
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the 21-year-old but his appearances have been fairly limited this season. Nevertheless, the Pole has started to make an impact again and managed to provide a crucial assist for Azmoun’s equalizer at the weekend. He is set to start at left wing-back in this one.
Roma have never won when playing on Czech soil but will be looking to enter unprecedented territory on Thursday night in order to seal their spot in the knockout rounds. The only previous meeting between Slavia Prague and Roma when playing in the Czech Republic saw the hosts secure a 2-0 first-leg triumph back in 1996 during the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
Slavia Prague vs Roma Potential Lineups & Team News
Slavia Prague (3-4-1-2): Ales Mandous; Tomas Vlcek, Tomas Holes, Igoh Ogbu; Michal Tomic, Christos Zafeiris, Oscar Dorley, Lukas Provod; Conrad Wallem; Mojmir Chytil, Mick van Buren
Petr Sevcik and David Pech will almost certainly remain out for the home side here as they continue to recover from long-term injuries. Sheriff Sinyan will not be able to feature since he hasn’t been registered for the squad. Andres Dumitrescu is a fresh doubt after missing the squad against Plzen. That means Lukas Provod could keep his place down the left.
Roma (3-5-2): Mile Svilar; Gianluca Mancini, Diego Llorente, Evan Ndicka; Zeki Celik, Edoardo Bove, Leandro Paredes, Houssem Aouar; Nicola Zalewski; Andrea Belotti, Stephan El Shaarawy
Despite playing the full 90 minutes against Lecce at the weekend as he made his return from injury, Paulo Dybala is set to be left on the bench for this one. Mourinho wants to rest his star player ahead of the derby match, meaning Stephan El Shaarawy could partner Andrea Belotti up top.
Chris Smalling and Marash Kumbulla remain out due to long-term injury issues. That means Gianluca Mancini, Diego Llorente and Evan Ndicka will continue as the back-three. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Pellegrini and Leonardo Spinazzola remain sidelined. Tammy Abraham is also a long-term casualty, whilst Azmoun and Rasmus Kristensen haven’t been registered for the Europa League squad.
Slavia Prague vs Roma Prediction
Slavia Prague are certainly not in the best of form of late but will pose an extremely difficult task for Roma. The visitors may struggle to keep their attention on this match with such a monumental derby game coming up so we can’t see them leaving Prague with all three points.
Slavia Prague 1-1 Roma