Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma predictions: Mourinho's men to keep it tight
- Bayer Leverkusen have failed to score in five European games this season
- Fewer than three goals have been scored in four of Roma's last five in EL
- Recommended bet: Under 2.5 goals
Roma head to Bayer Leverkusen with a 1-0 advantage for the second leg of their Europa League semi-final tie on Thursday.
Leverkusen dominated possession in the first leg at Stadio Olimpico but they struggled to create clear cut chances, registering just one shot on target, as Roma put in a well organised defensive shift.
Academy graduate Edoardo Bove scored the only goal of the game in Rome as the hosts packed a threat on the counter.
It is all to play for when the two clubs meet again on Thursday, as they seek a spot in the final at Budapest's Puskas Arena at the end of the month.
Bayer Leverkusen defender Odilon Kossounou limped out of the first leg with a hip injury so Piero Hincapie should slot into the back three with Mitchel Bakker likely to play at left wing-back.
Midfielder Robert Andrich is also a casualty from the clash in Rome, leaving the field late on with a broken ankle, with Kerem Demirbay set to feature in his place.
Andrey Lunev (back), Karim Bellarabi (muscle) and Patrik Schick (groin) were already in the treatment room and are set to miss out once again.
Jose Mourinho made wholesale changes to his starting XI for Sunday's goalless draw at Bologna in Serie A.
Mile Svilar, Nicola Zalewski, Mady Camara, Filippo Missori, Benjamin Tahirovic and Ola Solbakken all started at the weekend but are likely to return to the bench.
The likes of Tammy Abraham, Leonardo Spinazzola, Gianluca Mancini, Nemanja Matic, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Bove and Rui Patricio should all be restored.
Stephan El Shaarawy, Rick Karsdorp, Marash Kumbulla and Diego Llorente are all unavailable due to injury, while Paulo Dybala and Chris Smalling will need to come through late fitness tests.
Since winning the first European meeting between the two sides in October 2004, Bayer Leverkusen are now winless in four matches against Roma (D2 L2).
Bayer Leverkusen have only progressed from one of their 11 two-legged ties in major European competitions after losing the first leg.
Roma have advanced from 23 of their last 25 two-legged ties in major European competitions when winning the first leg.
The Giallarossi have kept five clean sheets in the Europa League this season, including earning a shutout in the reverse fixture.
There was a clear clash of styles when the two clubs met last week, with Xabi Alonso's Leverkusen attempting to play a more possession-based game and Mourinho's Roma happy to sit back, stay defensively solid and hit on the counter.
Ultimately, Roma's gameplan prevailed as they registered four shots on target, scoring one, while Leverkusen only managed to hit the target on one occasion as they struggled to break their opponents down.
With a lead to protect, it is safe to expect that Mourinho will be sending his side out with the same mentality.
Mourinho has a strong reputation in Europe - leading teams to success in the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League - and his experience should see Roma over the line in a tight contest.
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