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Nov 25, 2021 at 8pm UK
LuhanskZorya Luhansk
Perez (15'), Zaniolo (33'), Abraham (46', 75')
Karsdorp (90+1'), Mancini (90+1')
FT(HT: 2-0)

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

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

Roma play host to Zorya Luhansk in the Europa Conference League knowing that victory will secure their place in the preliminary stages of the knockout rounds.

However, Luhansk make the trip to Stadio Olimpico knowing that they will move ahead of Roma and into second place in Group C with all three points.

Match preview

Jose Mourinho has featured heavily on social media of late, his latest headline act buying a pair of trainers that he had previously promised youngster Felix Afena-Gyan.

While the gesture made for a pleasant story, the 18-year-old's double at Genoa earned Mourinho a much-needed victory in Serie A, just their second in six matches.

Mourinho has struggled to build on his excellent start at Stadio Olimpico, but that result has kept I Giallorossi in fifth place at a time when the clubs below them are beginning to circle.

Although Roma's priority is earning a return to the Champions League, Mourinho will want to make progress in the Europa Conference League, something which can be achieved with three points against Luhansk.

Nevertheless, having failed to win either of their games against Bodo/Glimt, Roma will take nothing for granted against opponents who have built some momentum.

Having lost their opening two group fixtures, the Ukrainian outfit went into their double-header with CSKA Sofia knowing that they realistically needed back-to-back victories.

While it was not pretty in either game, Luhansk managed to post 1-0 and 2-0 triumphs respectively, the latter being achieved through two strikes in the final three minutes of normal time.

Allahyar Sayyadmanesh netted in both games, further enhancing his growing reputation, and the 20-year-old now has eight goals and four assists for the season.

Luhansk sit down in fifth position in Ukraine's top flight, a consequence of losing two of their last three league encounters away from home.

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

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

Zorya Luhansk Europa Conference League form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

On the back of his stunning cameo at Genoa, Afena-Gyan is in contention to replace either Tammy Abraham or Eldor Shomurodov in attack.

Chris Smalling may be recalled to feature in a back three, while Nicolo Zaniolo could also start after remaining as an unused substitute at the weekend.

Having been introduced at half time against PFK Lviv, Juninho and Vladyslav Kabaev may both come into the Luhansk XI.

Should Viktor Skrypnyk take that approach, Igor Snurnitsyn and Shabab Zahedi are in line to drop to the substitutes' bench.

Given the importance of the game, the remainder of the team could stay the same.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Smalling, Kumbulla, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Pellegrini, Veretout, El Shaarawy; Zaniolo; Abraham, Shomurodov

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

We say: Roma 3-1 Zorya Luhansk

Looking to avoid the stress of requiring a result in their last match, Mourinho will likely name a strong side on Thursday. While their defensive frailties could be on show again, the Italian giants should have plenty in the tank to post a convincing win.

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