Roma and Lyon square off at the Stadio Olimpico this coming Thursday.
Bruno Genesio’s side will be hoping to salvage some French pride in the wake of last week’s nightmare inducing turnaround in Paris. Holding a far more precarious 4-2 lead from the first leg, a currently free-flowing Lyon side will do well to not go into hibernation mode and just express themselves this week. A 4-0 trouncing of Toulouse this weekend was yet another in a succession of high-scoring affairs from the ebullient French outfit. Roma consolidated their league position this past weekend this weekend with an impressive 3-0 away victory at Palermo. Luciano Spalletti’s side will be somewhat outside of their comfort zone chasing a game and will look to capitalise on Lyon’s newly found cavalier approach.
Roma v Lyon | Thursday 16 March | Stadio Olimpico | 22:05
To Win (90 Mins)
Roma 7/10 | Draw 31/10| Lyon 31/10
Roma are unbeaten in five home games against French clubs and will be hoping to draw on that historical edge this week. To overturn a two-goal deficit they will need Eden Dzeko to continue his amazing form. He picked up his 30th goal of the season at Palermo and has really reinvigorated his career after a rollercoaster spell at City. Lyon’s ‘hell is for heroes’ approach will actually work to their benefit, opening up spaces that would perhaps not be present against a more regimentally disciplined side.
I think that Spaletti’s side went far too defensive after going 2-1 up last week. Nainggolan and Strootman went progressively deeper and deeper, almost inviting an expansive and exciting Lyon side to attack. This week they will have little choice but to push on, which should work in their favour. I think that El Shaarawy may come in for Emerson this week, giving a more direct and pacey look to their forward line. Salah and El Shaarawy either side of Dzeko will definitely pose a few issues for a Lyon side not shy of shipping a few goals.
Lyon actually have a fairly decent away record in Italy, winning four and drawing two of their ten matches. They are currently in the midst of a sensational run of goal-scoring form, with Lacazette looking more and more like a contemporary Thierry Henry every day. I wouldn’t be surprised if Fekir replaces Ghezzal in the starting line-up this week. Tousart and Gonalons will be instructed to keep their shape and be aware of any swift Roma counterattacks.
Tolisso will likely get a lot of space in the number ten role as Roma look to take the game to Lyon. He will likely prove influential as Roma bomb forward. Lyon just have too much firepower and confidence at this point in time to see this tie overturned. In Lacazette they have one of the hottest strikers in European football and there are goals emanating from everywhere in this side.
Verdict: Total goals 6+ 4/1
This may look fairly bold, but giving the pattern of the first match and Lyon’s recent form, I think 4/1 looks a right good bet for a huge goal fest this week. I think Lyon will progress, but expect Roma to also play their part as they look to build on an impressive season at home.
Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.