13 March 2020
Sevilla will take on Roma at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League (EL) last-16 tie this week.
The hosts, who stormed into the EL knockout stages, finishing top of Group A with a record W5, L1, barely squeezed past CFR Cluj in the previous round, winning their last-32 tie on the away goals rule (1-1 A, 0-0 H). In fact, the Andalusian giants have yet to concede a single goal at home in Europe this season, although they’ve scored one or less in two of four such fixtures so far. Impressively though, they’ve won 20 of their last 22 EL home matches against non-Spanish opposition, including three in this year’s group stage. Additionally, Los Nervionenses have sustained just one loss in five of their previous continental home clashes against the Serie A visitors (W3, D1) and have run out victorious in three of their last four EL last-16 ties overall.
As for the visitors, they progressed to the knockout stage finishing runners-up in Group J, one point adrift of section-toppers Istanbul, and one clear of third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach. However, Paulo Fonseca’s men won only three of their eight EL fixtures this season (D4, L1), although all came in remarkable fashion. Indeed, each of Roma’s three EL successes this campaign has yielded a clean sheet and a margin of at least three goals. But, the Giallorossi go into this encounter winless in five of their last six away matches in UEFA knockout stages (D1). If that’s not enough for concern, then the fact that Roma have suffered ten defeats in their 17 trips to Spain should give the traveling fans a reason to be wary of (W4, D3).
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