Roma’s Must-Win Europa League Clash against Sheriff Tiraspol

Roma knows that they need a victory in their final UEFA Europa League (UEL) group game if they want to secure a direct path to the last 16. Currently sitting in second place, two points off the top spot in Group G, José Mourinho’s side has a chance to avoid the play-off knockout round by defeating Sheriff Tiraspol, while hoping for Slavia Prague to drop points in their clash against Servette.

The Giallorossi should enter the match with confidence, considering their impressive record at home in European football. They have lost just one of their last 28 home ties (W21, D6), with their last defeat dating back to December 2018. Their form at the Stadio Olimpico this season has been solid as well, with a 1-1 draw against Fiorentina on Sunday night, despite finishing the game with nine men. This draw ended their remarkable run of seven successive victories across all competitions. Such a strong performance should intimidate their visitors, especially since Sheriff Tiraspol was defeated 2-1 in the reverse fixture and currently possesses the UEL’s joint-second worst defense, having conceded 14 goals in their five group fixtures.

With only one point collected so far (D1, L4), Sheriff Tiraspol has had a disappointing campaign. Even a shock victory in this match would not be enough to secure them a place in the Europa Conference League in the new year. Furthermore, their previous away performances in UEFA competitions have been lackluster, with just two wins in their last 18 away matches (D6, L10). Roman Pylypchuk’s side, who have reached European football after Christmas in the last two seasons, is also trying to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat to CSF Bălți in their last league game in early December. This result puts them at risk of losing three successive fixtures within 90 minutes for the first time since April 2013.

A key battle to watch out for in this match is between Roma striker Romelu Lukaku and Sheriff Tiraspol goalkeeper Maksym Koval. Lukaku has an impressive record of 16 wins from the 19 UEL games in which he has scored (D1, L2). This poses a significant challenge for Koval, who has managed to keep only one clean sheet in his last 13 outings in this competition (W3, D3, L7).


In terms of scoring, Sheriff Tiraspol’s last five away matches have all produced three or more goals. This indicates that the match could be an exciting one with plenty of goal-scoring opportunities.

Roma’s fate in the UEFA Europa League hangs in the balance, but with their strong home record and the vulnerabilities in Sheriff Tiraspol’s defense, they have a great chance to secure the victory they need. Fans can look forward to an intense and potentially high-scoring encounter at the Stadio Olimpico.


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