As Liverpool prepare for the biggest game of their season, we analyse the danger men Roma could deploy to derail their Champions League hopes.
Liverpool will undoubtedly be bouncing into their Champions League Semi-Final with Roma in confident mood after dismantling Premier League champions Manchester City at the quarter-final stage in emphatic fashion.
The Merseysiders will be favourites and it is hard to argue otherwise, especially given the sensational form of Egyptian goal-machine and PFA Player Of The Year, Mohamad Salah, who will face his former teammates.
However, the Italian club are in the last four on merit after a mesmeric comeback against Spanish kingpins Barcelona where they battered the Catalan giants in the Eternal City.
This tie, by any means, is certainly no foregone conclusion. Roma are a good team and their
belief will have skyrocketed after that famous Quarter-Final victory. Eusebio Di Francesco’s troops will hope they can survive the cauldron of Anfield and take the tie back to home turf, where they can be a formidable outfit.
Let’s take look at the players looking to derail Liverpool’s tilt for a 6th Champions League title.
1. Edin Dzeko
The former Manchester City striker is the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of Roma’s dangermen. The Bosnian international has been instrumental to Roma’s Champions League run and has the physical prowess and finishing ability to run Liverpool ragged.
2. Stephan El Shaarawy
The Italian winger has revitalized his career somewhat at Roma this season, making 37 appearances and scoring eight goals.
The 25-year-old has the lightning pace and technique to open up defences and could cause a potentially leaky Liverpool defence serious problems.
If Roma lean towards their counter-attacking style, the pace of El Shaarawy is something they will certainly use to their advantage.
3. Patrik Schick
The Czech Republic international was signed from Sampdoria in the summer, with a reputation as one of the most highly-rated young players in Serie A. Unfortunately, life in Rome has not gone to plan and Schick struggled to establish himself.
However, the striker scored his first Serie A goal for Roma at the weekend in a 3-0 victory over SPAL.
After a slow start to his Roma career, Schick’s form is improving at the perfect time.
4. Cengiz Under
Another talented young player snapped up by Roma last summer, the 20-year-old is seen as the most promising prospect in Turkish football.
Under scored a vital away goal against Shakhtar Donetsk in the last sixteen and he is a valuable asset from the bench. Expect Under to enter the fray at some point on Tuesday, and do not be surprised to see the young Turk unfazed by the raucous Anfield crowd.
Roma also possess a strong spine from Brazil number one goalkeeper Alisson Becker to centre-back Kostas Manolas, along with a strong midfield of Radja Nainggolan, Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman.
Liverpool should not take this Roma team lightly, as they have already hurt stronger teams in this year’s competition.