Feyenoord vs Roma – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Thursday 13th April 2023
Stadion Feijenoord (de Kuip)
As part of our Europa League Predictions, we take a look at the first leg of the quarter final tie between Feyenoord and Roma. This match is a repeat of the inaugural Europa Conference League final last season – can Feyenoord exact revenge? Read on with our Feyenoord vs Roma prediction.
Feyenoord vs Roma Match Preview
Feyenoord enter this quarter-final in sensational form. Indeed, other than the blip of losing in the semi-final of the Dutch Cup to Ajax, the Rotterdam club have been brilliant. They have not lost in the Eredivisie since November and have won their last eight games in the division. They have only lost once all season and have an eight-point lead over Ajax in second place. They are well on course to win their first league title since 2017.
In the Europa League, Arne Slot’s side have been excellent. After winning Group F on goals scored after they, Midtjylland, Lazio and Sturmz Graz all finished on eight points, Feyenoord progressed to a last-16 tie against Shakhtar Donetsk. After a 1-1 draw in Poland, Feyenoord comprehensively destroyed the Ukrainian side 7-0 in Rotterdam with goals from the usual suspects. Scoring goals freely, the Dutch club enter this tie with confidence.
Roma travel to the Netherlands in bipolar form. Indeed, in Serie A, they have won three and lost three of the last six. Two of the losses were away, highlighting their problems on the road. However, they have eight league victories in 2023 and 12 clean sheets in all competitions, highlighting coach Jose Mourinho’s defence-first mantra. They sit in third place, with 53 points from 29 games. Therefore, they are still in a battle to qualify for the Champions League next season, though winning this competition would do it for them automatically.
Roma came through Group C in second place to Real Betis. They then beat Salzburg 2-1 on aggregate before facing Real Sociedad in the last 16. A comfortable 2-0 win in Rome was followed by a professional display away in Spain, safely securing Roma’s passage to this tie with Feyenoord. Roma will try to contain an exciting Feyenoord attack and get through this encounter however they can.
As a further wrinkle, these two sides met in the inaugural Europa Conference League Final last season. Mourinho’s men won 1-0, so Feyenoord will be hungry for revenge.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Jahanbakhsh
Will Not Play: Bijlow,
Might Not Play: Pellegrini
Will Not Play: Karsdorp, Darboe, Solbakken
Feyenoord vs Roma Lineups (Predicted)
Feyenoord (4-3-3 / 4-2-3-1): Wellenreuther; Hartman, Hancko, Trauner, Geertruida, Weiffer, Kokcu; Idrissi, Szymanski, Paixao; Gimenez
Roma (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Llorente, Smalling, Mancini; Spinazzola, Wijnaldum, Cristante, Zalewski; Pellegrini, Dybala; Abraham
Feyenoord vs Roma Analysis
The midfield will likely be a critical area in this game, and we expect Feyenoord to have more possession. Indeed, the Dutch side have averaged 58 per cent possession domestically as opposed to Roma’s 49 per cent in Serie A – and Mourinho’s sides are known for being counter-attacking. Feyenoord have also completed over 2,000 more passes in one fewer league game. Hence, it is highly likely that – while Roma will have periods where they are on top – the onus will be on Feyenoord as the home side and a more expansive outfit to control the ball and look to break down an organised Roma defensive shape.
Wieffer and captain Kokcu will shield the Feyenoord defence and look to make the play in midfield with passing and playmaking. They will also link up with Szymanski in a midfield three, which will look to dominate Roma. The two players will also cover the spaces the full-backs leave when Roma do win the ball to ensure Feyenoord are kept from being exposed at the back. When Roma can win it through Cristante and Wijnaldum pressing in midfield (and Dybala and Pellegrini dropping deep to pressurise the Feyenoord midfield), they will try to break at pace.
As stated, we expect Feyenoord to generally be the side looking to play positively and break Roma down. Roma will have spells where they are on the ball but will often play on transitions – as Mourinho likes. Cristante and Wijnaldum must get through much work in the midfield areas to ensure that Feyenoord don’t find channels and spaces to play in. Both players are energetic and athletic, so they can produce such industrious endeavours.
How Will Each Side Attack?
Feyenoord’s likely controlling of much of the game means they’ll likely use their full-backs high. The width and a fast build-up are a big part of Slot’s style. Therefore, we anticipate a direct and speedy approach whereby Hartman and Geertruida are up and down the pitch, supplementing the attack and getting back when Feyenoord are more exposed and have lost the ball. The full-backs will offer overlaps to their wingers and avenues to cross the ball and get into the box. Idrissi, Paixao and Jakanbakhsh are all talented and very direct wingers who can attack the spaces left when the Roma wing-backs are more advanced or come inside to get shots and crosses away against the three centre-backs.
Jakanbakhsh is an injury doubt, so the other two will probably start. Both players are tricky; Paixao especially has pace and quality dribbling skills. They will look to be creative and attack at speed, either scoring themselves or setting up Gimenez in the middle. The young Mexican has 18 goals this season and is excellent at leading the line. The Roma defence must be wary of his runs in behind to get one-on-one with Patricio. Kokcu has also scored 12 goals this season from his deeper midfield position, and he and Szymanski are threats from midfield. Danilo and Dilrosun are options from the bench.
As for Roma, we reiterate that we expect them to be less expansive and to play on the counter. Even if they go a goal down, they might not open up, fancying themselves to come back into the tie in the home leg next week. Nevertheless, Spinazzola and Zalewski are flying, marauding wing-backs who can support the attack and get up and down the pitch to create and score goals and get crosses into the box. Wijnaldum can make runs into the box from midfield and offer scoring potential.
The two number tens – Pellegrini and Dybala – are both very creative, tricky and inventive players who can find space between the lines and be a threat with their dribbling and incisive passing on the counter. They can score themselves or try to assist Abraham. The Englishman has endured a difficult season but will likely be preferred to Belotti in attack after young forward Solbakken dislocated his shoulder. Abraham must repay Mourinho’s faith by making runs and trying to find positions where he can get one-on-one with Wellenreuther either in the air or on the ground (the Feyenoord goalkeeper is deputising for the injured Bijlow).
At this stage of the competition, no game is easy to predict. Roma have been good in 2023, as have Feyenoord, and both deserve to be in this quarter-final tie. However, Roma have looked fragile and vulnerable away from the Stadio Olimpico. Feyenoord, as stated, have been scoring goals galore in recent months (21 goals in their last six) and have looked mightily impressive for a while now. They will fancy their chances of avenging the Conference League Final defeat last season, mainly as Roma are a relatively conservative outfit under Mourinho (they have only scored 39 goals in Serie A).
Hence, we fancy Feyenoord to get the result here. We were going to predict them to win 3-1, and therefore take a two-goal advantage to the Italian capital next week. However, we will be slightly more conservative and safe and go for a 2-1 victory to the Dutch side as they have many attacking weapons to hurt Roma and can score several goals. However, they might leave themselves exposed enough for Roma to get one too. If Feyenoord hit form, though, they could take this match away from Roma in the first leg.
Feyenoord 2-1 Roma
Feyenoord vs Roma Betting Tip – Feyenoord Odds:
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