Astra Giurgiu VS AS Roma Prediction
An eventual first home success in this season’s UEFA Europa League group phase would give Astra second place in Group E behind AS Roma, who are sure for their top position, regardless of the result at the “Arena Naţională” in Romanian capital Bucuresti. Indeed, Romanian champions have gained six out of their seven points away from “home”, but their Europa League home fixtures have been usually in Bucuresti, instead of stadium in Giurgiu. Anyway, even if “The Black Devils” fail to win on Thursday night, everything else than victory of Austria Vienna over Viktoria Plzen in the Czech Republic will be completely in Astra’s favour and they’ll reach the knockout phase for the very first time.
Astra Giurgiu vs AS Roma – Team News and Match Preview
“The Giallorossi” remain unbeaten after three European away games this season (a win and two draws) and Roma’s confidence will be even higher, since they have scored 15 goals in their last four Group E matches. Moreover, AS Roma landed in Romania after a massive weekend success when on Sunday afternoon Luciano Spalletti won its managerial duel over Simone Inzaghi, meaning Roma were triumphant against Lazio in first edition of the “Derby della Capitale” during season 2016-17.
All these strong efforts have clinched first position of Roma in Group E of the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League, where they have 11 points (3 wins, 2 draws) and goal difference 16:7. At the same time “Roman Wolves” are once again in shadow of Juventus in the Serie A, but difference from four points it’s not something impossible and Roma must prepare for a derby on Monday evening, when they’ll host to AC Milan (3rd).
Astra will be keen to take advantage from lack of serious interest in the Italians, so players led by coach Marius Sumudica should do their best to wrap up the final standings by their own efforts. Otherwise they’ll be really dependent from final score at the “Doosan Aréna” in Plzen, where if Austria Vienna wins and Astra fail to do so, Austria will go through whether it comes to a point difference or the head-to-head balance between both sides. Although Romanian champion has accomplished a full comeback, winning 1-2 in its visit at the “Ernst-Happel Stadion” in Vienna last round, Astra lost 2-3 at home, which tilt the scales in Austria’s favour. In case they finish with same number of points after matchday 6, of course.
Meanwhile, looks like Astra won’t be capable to defend their domestic league trophy, where they occupy 9th position after 19 rounds and have won only 23 points, remaining on 14 from leaders Steaua. A good reason why their maximum effort can be focused in the Europa League, but for more confidence, Astra have won their last weekend’s game against Voluntari. The 1-2 victory away from home came right on time after two successive defeats from Poli Timisoara and CFR Cluj, both of them after Astra’s victory in Vienna.
Astra Giurgiu vs AS Roma – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Astra have not won in four previous European home games this season and three of them were 1-1 draws. In order to be certain about second Group E position, Astra must explode in the right moment and they’ll have to achieve something completely different from a 4-0 defeat, as in their previous clash against Roma at the “Stadio Olimpico”.
Bad news for the home manager are coming from fact he’ll have to select Astra’s starting XI without a suspended key-player duo. Suspensions of Geraldo Alves and captain Júnior Morais will cause serious headache to Marius Sumudica and respectively rotations in the Romanian squad.
Alexandru Dandea, Damien Boudjemaa and experienced attacker Daniel Niculae are also ruled out, from whose absence only Niculae (top goal scorer with 4 goals) can be considered as a blow, but Constantin Budescu and Denis Alibec are ready to lead Astra’s attack.
Roma can play without any pressure and most logical thing we can expect here is Luciano Spalletti to use that game as a chance for more first-team football of players, who cannot get chances in a huge competition.
Kevin Strootman, Federico Fazio and Mohamed Salah were the goal scorers for Roma in the first clash against Astra, as well as an own goal scored by Fabrício, so as we can see, only Strootman will have a chance to score again. Salah is one of the injured players alongside Alessandro Florenzi and Leandro Paredes, but Spalletti decided to rest few key players and they have not travelled with the 20-man squad for Romania.
Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Antonio Rüdiger, Diego Perotti and captain Diego De Rossi were all left out in Rome and they’ll be fresh for the upcoming second-place decider vs AC Milan, but this opens a wonderful opportunity for players who can use the moment and impress the coach.
Final conclusion, Betting Odds and Prediction
We expect an open game, especially by the visitors, with some scoring chances for both sides. Astra will have to set a trap to their reputable but weakened opposition, while “The Giallorossi” can enjoy and play attacking football with no pressure and any consequences from the final score.
Our betting prediction goes for “Both teams to score & Over 2.5 Goals” in the UEFA Europa League clash facing Astra Giurgiu and AS Roma on Thursday night, 8 December 2016.
Venue: “Arena Națională”, Bucuresti.
Referee: Hüseyin Göçek from Turkey.
Possible starting lineups of Astra Giurgiu vs AS Roma
Astra Giurgiu: George Gavrilas – Fabricio, Cristian Oros, Cristian Sapunaru – Viorel Nicoara, Filipe Teixeira, Florin Lovin, Takayuki Seto, Alexandru Stan – Constantin Budescu, Denis Alibec. (3-5-2)
AS Roma: Alisson Becker – Moustapha Seck, Thomas Vermaelen, Juan Jesus, Bruno Peres – Kevin Strootman, Gerson – Stephan El Shaarawy, Francesco Totti, Juan Manuel Iturbe – Edin Dzeko. (4-2-3-1)