Roma welcomes Feyenoord
Watch Feyenoord vs Roma preview, as they meet on their first quarter finals of the Europa league as De kuip on Thursday fixtures.
Feyenoord vs Roma preview
While the Serie A side came out on top in last term’s Europa Conference League decider, their in-form hosts are on course to become Eredivisie champions and are well-placed to take revenge.
Having not lost in the league since November and crushed Shakhtar Donetsk 7-1 in their Europa League last-16 second leg a few weeks ago, the Rotterdammers are enjoying a prolonged purple patch – blotted only by their controversial KNVB Beker semi-final loss to arch-rivals Ajax last Wednesday.
In the latest example of how fiery De Kuip can be under the floodlights, Feyenoord’s fans twice held up De Klassieker in a 2-1 defeat – first for a cloud caused by smoke bombs to clear; secondly, when Davy Klaasen was struck by an object thrown from the stands.
After the officials had led both teams off in response, action eventually resumed when the Ajax man’s bloodied head was treated and club legend John de Wolf emotionally – and effectively – addressed his club’s supporters in a plea for peace. Roma can surely expect a similar reception this week, though.
Nearly 2,000 seats will be left empty for Thursday’s fixture as a result of subsequent safety measures, but Feyenoord – who thumped RKC Waalwijk 5-1 at the weekend to sit eight points clear at the Eredivisie summit – will still be passionately backed.
On course to be crowned Dutch champions for the first time since 2017, they have won each of their last eight league matches, and having lost only four times all season, Arne Slot’s side will not suffer an inferiority complex against their conquerors in Tirana some 11 months ago.
Clubs head to head stats
In two head-to-head encounters between the two sides, Roma have won one game and drawn one. Mexico international Santiago Gimenez has scored 10 goals in 15 league starts for Feyenoord this season. Turkey international Orkun Kokcu has 10 goal contributions in 25 league starts for Feyenoord this season.
Argentine attacker Paulo Dybala has 17 goal contributions in 20 league starts for Roma so far. English striker Tammy Abraham has nine goal contributions in 21 league starts for Roma so far.
Team news and Injury
Last weekend brought mixed fortunes for Arne Slot, who is set to start Netherlands full-back Lutsharel Geertruida on Thursday evening. The 22-year-old recently returned from a hamstring problem picked up during his international debut against France last month and then featured in the win over RKC.
However, Alireza Jahanbakhsh had to pull out during the warm-up and may now be unavailable against Roma. Brazilian winger Igor Paixao stepped into the breach and then bagged his second goal in two league games, so stands ready to deputise again.
While Feyenoord’s midfield will be run by much-admired captain Orkun Kokcu, back-up goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther must start as the home side’s last line of defence, with first choice Justin Bijlow still out of action due to a wrist injury.
At the other end of his career compared to Kokcu, former Feyenoord player Georginio Wijnaldum is expected to form part of Roma’s midfield, but another familiar figure at De Kuip, Rick Karsdorp, was recently ruled out for several weeks.
After surprisingly being selected ahead of both Tammy Abraham and Andrea Belotti to start up front against Torino, Ola Solbakken suffered a dislocated shoulder and was withdrawn during the second half.
Therefore, Abraham should lead the line, supported by Paulo Dybala; captain Lorenzo Pellegrini will join them if he can recover from an illness which kept him out of Saturday’s trip to Turin.
Feyenoord vs Roma Prediction
Having scored 21 goals in their last six matches, Feyenoord can surely find the net at least once in front of their own fans; capitalising on Roma’s frailties outside the Italian capital. That could see the Rotterdam side take a slim lead into next week’s return leg.