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Sep 30, 2021 at 5.45pm UK
LuhanskZorya Luhansk
FT(HT: 0-1)
El Shaarawy (7'), Smalling (66'), Abraham (68')
Kumbulla (81'), Patricio (83')

Preview: Zorya Luhansk vs. Roma - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Zorya Luhansk vs. Roma - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa Conference League clash between Zorya Luhansk and Roma, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Roma will be looking to take control of Group C when they face Zorya Luhansk in the Europa Conference League on Thursday evening.

At a time when the Italian giants were cruising to victory over CSKA Sofia, Luhansk were suffering a surprise defeat to Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt.

Match preview

If recent history is anything to go by, Roma's first blip under Jose Mourinho was never going to be far away after their perfect start.

Nevertheless, the Portuguese and the club's supporters will be desperately disappointed with the defeats at Hellas Verona and Lazio respectively.

While Roma continue to score goals for fun, they had been riding their luck in defence before conceding three times in each of those two fixtures.

An intriguing encounter with in-form Empoli awaits I Giallorossi at the weekend, but Mourinho will first demand that his players deliver a performance in Ukraine.

Although Roma have scored in each of their 10 matches under Mourinho, midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini currently sits as the club's leading marksman with six strikes.

On the back of failing to qualify for the Europa League, Luhansk would have expected to make a positive start against Bodo/Glimt in this competition.

However, Muzhyky were well beaten in Norway, shipping three goals immediately after half time to succumb to a tame defeat against their rivals for second spot.

Viktor Skrypnyk will expect his team to improve as the group progresses, but a home fixture with a team of Roma's quality has increased the pressure to deliver a much-better performance.

Luhansk have recently had more joy on the domestic scene, a six-match unbeaten streak moving the club into fifth position after a slow start to the campaign.

Zorya Luhansk Europa Conference League form:
  • L

Zorya Luhansk form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Roma Europa Conference League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W

Roma form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Mourinho will almost certainly ring the changes for the trip to Ukraine, bringing in the likes of Chris Smalling and Carles Perez.

Eldor Shomurodov could be preferred to Tammy Abraham in the final third, while Pellegrini may be recalled after serving a domestic suspension at the weekend.

Marash Kumbulla and Amadou Diawara are also options for Mourinho in defence and midfield respectively.

Vitaliy Vernydub is expected to miss out for Luhansk after picking up an injury at the weekend.

Barring any late fitness issues, the introduction of Maksym Imerekov could prove to be the one alteration to the team.

Zorya Luhansk possible starting lineup:
Matsapura; Favorov, Cvek, Imerekov, Khomchenovskyi; Nazaryna; Gromov, Kochergin, Buletsa, Kabaev; Sayyadmanesh

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Karsdorp, Kumbulla, Smalling, Vina; Diawara, Cristante; Perez, Pellegrini, El Shaarawy; Shomurodov

We say: Zorya Luhansk 1-3 Roma

Mourinho will inevitably make alterations for this contest in a move which will only encourage the hosts. Nevertheless, Roma have never been short of goals this season, and we expect that trend to continue in Ukraine.

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