Written by Ciaran CoyleEmbed from Getty Images
A classic European fixture is revisited on Thursday evening as Manchester United host Roma in the Europa League semi-final first leg at Old Trafford.
Roma, who currently sit 7th in the Serie A, have not been in good form as of late with the Italian side only managing to pick up one win in their last five league games.
Manchester United on the other hand will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games, with their last defeat coming at the hands of Leicester City in the FA Cup quarter-final back in March.
Paulo Fonsesca’s side have been a force to be reckoned with in this seasons Europa League, knocking out Braga, Shakhtar Donetsk and Ajax on their way to the semi-final.
United will be looking to replicate their first leg performances against Granada and Real Sociedad in two of their last three Europa League knock-out ties where they were able to take substantial leads into the second leg, winning 2-0 and 4-0 respectively.
These two sides have only crossed paths six times in their history, with the most notable meeting coming on April 10 2007 which saw then manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s side thrash Roma 7-1 at Old Trafford to see the home side progress to the Champions League semi-finals.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Anthony Martial is the only major absentee from the squad to face Roma. The Frenchman picked up a knee injury whilst on international duty at the start of this month.
Two former United players in Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will be making a return to Old Trafford on Thursday evening. Former Premier League players Edin Džeko and Pedro Rodriguez will also be fit to start against the Red Devils.
Sub-edited by Cameron Winstanley
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