Leicester vs. Roma Predictions: Best Bets for The Foxes Semi-Final clash at the King Power
Leicester vs Roma Odds
Jose Mourinho finds himself back on English soil as his Roma side makes the trip to the midlands. Not quite the setting of a Champions League or Europa League semi-final, albeit the talent on show suggests this is not a competition to be taken lightly.
Leicester City’s European adventure derailed ever so slightly this campaign as they failed to keep pace in the Europa League. Nevertheless, the drop down to the UEFA Conference League has been far from plain sailing.
The Foxes out-muscled a spirited PSV in the Netherlands after entering the final 15-minutes 1-0 down in the tie. It’s that fight and ability to step up when it matters that Rodgers will hope he can harness and utilise in the showpiece event in May. That’s if his eleven makes sure he’s able to book his plane tickets, of course.
At the quarter-final in Rome, the Italians turned over a Bodo/Glimt outfit that proved tricky customers in the group stages, previously handing the Romans a 6-1 lesson in Norway.
The hosts approach their European semi-final missing several key players, all of which would add a level of solidity handy in fending off Roma. Wilfred Ndidi and Ryan Bertrand will miss the tie through injury, while Boubakary Soumare and Jonny Evans look set to miss Thursday’s match.
With Leicester’s absentees Roma should feel capable of getting something out of this game. Yet, Mourinho will likely treat this as it is. A European semi-final first leg battle on foreign shores.
I’m not expecting a Mourinho-lead Roma to play expansive football, penning their opponents in their own third. Instead, there will be a calculated approach focusing on ensuring they’re very much in the game come the second leg.
Leicester vs Roma Tips
What I am expecting is Roma to arrive willing to lay bodies on the line and scrap for every ball. With the Spaniard Carlos del Cerro Grande as the referee, that desire and commitment may well scratch an unwanted itch in his eyes. This season, the La Liga-based official boasts a 6.06 cards per90 average in sunny Spain. With 4.93 of that total coming in the second half, it’s evident how Grande likes to officiate his matches.
Whilst operating in European matches on the continent, Thursday night’s ref has brandished 4, 3, 2, 10(Red = 2), and 5(Greek Super League) second half cards in his last five outings. Admittedly, the three European matches nearer the start of the season each witnessed one second half card each - something we hope doesn’t rear its head here.
Fortunately for us, Roma enters Thursday night propping up the bottom of Serie A’s fair play table alongside Venezia. Roma has witnessed 88 yellows and eight reds in 34 matches this season. That’s a 2.82 cards per90 average, suggesting we can rely on Mourinho’s bunch to do the leg work here.
In the hope of landing a longer shot punt for Betting Odds readers like the 5.50 shout in Middlesbrough vs Cardiff yesterday, I’ve constructed a similar-looking bet builder to the first. Instead of a card each in the second half, I’ll hang my hat on two apiece with the same bookmaker at 4.75.
Two evenly matched teams line up for the semi-final, a game of such importance for both clubs. If Carlos del Cerro Grande turns up in his usual mood when on duty in Europe, we have every chance of bagging a couple of winners at the King Power tonight.
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