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Roma ready for Feyenoord fight in Europa League encounter

| 26.02.2015

Roma will travel to Rotterdam to face Feyenoord in the side’s Europa League last 32 second leg meeting, after a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Olimpico.

Rudi Garcia’s second-placed Serie A side, 8/5 to win in 90 minutes, have slipped nine points behind Italian top-flight leaders Juventus this season, making the Europa League their sole path to silverware success.

Although, a recent struggle has been endured by the Yellow-Reds, after securing just one victory in their previous 10 games in all competitions. Their primary problem has been trying to turn draws into wins, having drawn eight of those last 10 outings, including their last three fixtures.

Feyenoord will be hoping for immediate success in this competition as well, with The Pride of the South having drifted a massive 20 points behind Eredivisie leaders PSV, and six points adrift of second-placed Ajax.

Fred Rutten’s men will be aiming to build upon their away goal advantage from the first leg, with Colin Kazim-Richards’ second-half strike levelling the tie, after Africa Cup of Nations winner Gervinho tucked away the opener.

Gallant Giallorossi enter the fixture with an unfortunate number of casualties, with long-term absentees Kevin Strootman and Federico Balzaretti left out of the Europa League squad completely. Brazilian full back Maicon is unlikely to play, while Leonardo Castan, Juan Iturbe and Victor Ibarbo miss out.

Lex Immers and Luke Wilkshire will be unavailable for the hosts after both picked too many bookings, meaning the pair must serve a suspension.

The Dutch outfit will be in high spirits ahead of the clash, having gone unbeaten in their previous 13 matches at the Stadio Feijenoord, including an incredible 12 victories. Their current rampant run was stretched to five consecutive wins after a recent 3-2 league triumph over Excelsior.

Former Sheffield United and Blackburn Rovers attacker Kazim-Richards struck in that latest result, following up his vital away goal in Rome. The former Fenerbahce forward is 6/1 to strike last this time out against Roma.

The visitors, who are without a European win in six matches, stretching back to September last year, will be reliant on stalwart skipper Francesco Totti for firepower and will be hoping he can add to his impressive seven goals this term.

Roma’s veteran playmaker is available at 11/5 to score anytime, having struck in his side’s recent Italian league 1-1 draw with Verona.

Gervinho returned from international duty with the Ivory Coast this year, after helping his native country clinch a historic Africa Cup coup, netting twice in the competition. The former Arsenal attacker is 13/2 to open proceedings in Rotterdam, having netted six times already this season.

Feyenoord’s last victory over Italian opposition came against Inter Milan in the 2001/02 UEFA Cup semi-final, but with a dominant home record this season, Rutten’s Dutch outfit will be hopeful of overcoming their Serie A rivals.

The home side are 4/1 to secure another home win to nil, after going undefeated in all competitions in Rotterdam since September last year.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.