Liverpool are the only remaining unbeaten side in the Champions League

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Liverpool trounced Roma 5-2 at Anfield in the first leg of this Champions League semi-final tie and now the Reds head to Italy hoping to seal their progression. Mark O'Haire previews the encounter...

"With Roma having to be on the front foot, this is expected to play into the hands of a ruthless Reds team who look good Draw No Bet value at [1.97] given their proficiency at playing fast, counter-attacking football"


Wednesday 2nd May, 19:45
Live on BT Sport

Roma believe

Eusebio Di Francesco insists his side "believe in the comeback" against Liverpool and the Roma head coach has asked fans that don't to stay away from the Stadio Olimpico on Wednesday night. The Giallorossi boss was speaking after watching his much-changed side put Chievo to the sword on Saturday.

Two Edin Dzeko goals and one apiece from Patrik Schick and Stephan El Shaarawy helped Roma to a 4-1 triumph despite seeing defender Juan Jesus concede a penalty and receive a red card. Goalkeeper Alisson saved the spot-kick as the capital club warmed up for their Liverpool assignment with a cushy win.

However, there was less good news elsewhere as Diego Perotti looks unlikely to recover from his ankle sprain, and Kevin Strootman is doubtful with rib damage. Should both miss out, Di Francesco may opt against reverting to a back-four. Meanwhile, Rick Karsdorp and Gregoire Defrel are confirmed absentees.

Liverpool unable to see off Stoke

Jurgen Klopp shuffled his Liverpool pack against Stoke on Saturday and saw the Reds labour for large chunks of an uninspiring 0-0 Anfield stalemate. Mohamed Salah missed a golden opportunity after only five minutes but it set the tone for a rare off day for the Egyptian and the Merseysiders.

Liverpool, who made five changes, created little of note during the opening 45 minutes and the match failed to ignite after the interval when passes became wayward, crosses were not quite met and frustration showed for the Reds outfit that failed to score for the first time in nine outings.

Sadio Mane, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and captain Jordan Henderson are expected to recover from knocks but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's season-ending injury means Georginio Wijnaldum will take his place in midfield. But no other alterations are anticipated from Klopp in the Eternal City.

Counter-attacking Reds represent value

Clubs that have lost the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie by two or more goals boast an impressive W17-D1-L9 record in return legs since 2009/10 with eight of those nine defeats arriving against one of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Barcelona.

Roma [2.64] have first-hand experience of such success having overturned a three-goal deficit against Barcelona in the quarter-finals and the Giallorossi are protecting an unbeaten Champions League home record here this season (W4-D1-L0) where none of their five guests have even managed to score.

Nonetheless, Liverpool [2.60] saw off Man City at the Etihad when protecting a big first leg advantage and the Reds remain the only unbeaten side in Europe's premier club competition this term (W7-D4-L0). Jurgen Klopp's charges are a major threat on the break and circumstances should suithere.

With Roma having to be on the front foot, this is expected to play into the hands of a ruthless Reds team who look good Draw No Bet value at [1.97] given their proficiency at playing fast, counter-attacking football. Liverpool have generated an average of 2.72 Expected Goals per-game across their 11 games on the continent, notching 38 goals, and are expected to least grab a goal.

Goals too short to support

Real Madrid's record of 41 goals in a single Champions League campaign is under threat from Liverpool (38) and with the trio of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane scoring 88 (70%) of their 125 goals across all competitions this season, it's not hard to know where their attacking strengths reside.

Roma's high line was exploited to epic proportions in the first leg but with the Giallorossi chasing the game, the risk of a repeat is certainly possible. Either way, another goal-filled game is expected at the Stadio Olimpico with Over 2.5 Goals chalked up at just [1.45].

This selection has provided profit in 18/24 (75%) of the duos combined Champions League fixtures (including qualifiers) with their collective knockout encounters already averaging 3.33 goals per-game.

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