A View From: AS Roma

The Anfield Talk’s Adam (@Adam_LFC_96) interviews Stefano (@ASRomaDublin) ahead of tomorrow’s first leg clash with AS Roma.

What was the initial reaction from the Roma fans when the draw was made?
The initial reaction was mixed. Positive because Liverpool are not at the same level of Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. At least on paper.

Negative because Liverpool play a football style that could hurt Roma, pace and pressing high, with high calibre players upfront. And of course, Mo Salah is bound to score against his former teammates…

How are Roma getting on in the league this season?
Every year Roma are tipped to win the Italian Serie A and promptly finished second behind Juventus.

This year the team has made lots of changes, especially with the departure of Salah and the arrival of a new young players. Our new coach, Eusebio Di Francesco is a former Roma player who was instrumental to help wining the Italian League with Roma back in 2001.

We expect to finish at least third and a Champions League spot.

What is the strongest part of Roma’s side that can help beat Liverpool?
Eusebio Di Francesco plays a 4-3-3 formation like Jurgen Klopp but able to change for 3-5-2 in big games against big teams. This is the game plan that destroyed Chelsea first and Barcelona after. Roma showed can beat anyone when on-form and focused.

The strongest point is the game plan. The three defence backline in an attacking position, pushing high up to midfield line leaving the opposition in offside position. Of course, that worked perfectly against Messi and Suarez but any little mistake might be costly, and we know Salah can be deadly in that sense. Edin Dzeko upfront is Roma’s talisman at the moment, scoring in all crucial games. But also helps his teammates in midfield, keeps the ball well and provides great passes for his teammates upfront. Then, Alisson, Brazil’s first goalkeeper. He has been outstanding this season.

Do Roma genuinely believe they can win the Champions League?
Roma can win the Champions League. Not. Maybe. Surely. We are in the semifinals. Another step now. Like Liverpool we believe we can get to the final. Then we’ll see. Might not be favourites but we weren’t at the start of the campaign and so here we are now.

What do you think of Liverpool this season?
Liverpool are a bit like Roma the season. Klopp like Di Francesco. New players, new style, new ideas. Confidence and belief. Both teams haven’t been that consistent in their home leagues but need praise for what they achieved in the Champions League so far. It will be a great game of football.

Who do you see as the danger man for Liverpool apart from the obvious Mo Salah?
Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino are fantastic players. Oxlade-Chambelain can make the difference in the middle. Roma can stop Liverpool only if can stop their main men upfront but the same applies to Liverpool.

Have Roma missed Mo Salah?
Roma miss Salah only for what is done for Liverpool so far. In Rome he was deadly but not this deadly… He’s having a magnificent season.

Finally.. score predictions?
Liverpool v Roma 3-1 – Roma v Liverpool 2-0

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