Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk tie is another exciting fixture in the second leg of the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League 2017/18 with two well-matched teams going head to head in Rome.
It is a battle between the Ukrainian powerhouse Shakhtar Donetsk and Italian giants AS Roma which will start at 7:45 GMT in the Stadio Olimpico this Tuesday.
This game could be overshadowed by other heavyweight competition this week between Chelsea and Barcelona but make no mistake; the game will be a feast for the football fans. It is in an exciting stage with Shakhtar having a slight edge over the home side who got a 2-1 win over the Roma side on their home turf. Still, Roma have an away goal to show for which can be a big factor in this tie.
Both the clubs lack big success at this stage of the competition and one of the teams will be marching to the quarters as underdogs further in the contest. Both teams being evenly matched saw a close contest last time out with the Ukrainian side just edging out the Italian giants, and this leg may prove to be no different.
Both sides have picked up some form coming to this game. With back to back wins against Napoli and Torino with the score of 4-2 and 3-0, Roma will be confident of bouncing back from the 2-1 defeat against Shakhtar.
On the other side, Shakhtar have won three consecutive games with ease, two in the league and another a cup game without conceding any. So, they may be able to put a big defensive obstacle in front of AS Roma.
The head to head record certainly favors the Ukrainian side who have won 4 of their previous 5 encounters and were able to eliminate Roma from the knockout stages the last time they met in the 2010/11 season winning by a whopping aggregate score of 6-2. They will be taking this into mind when they visit the Roma side and try to build upon it to progress further in the competition.
Eden Dzeko who was suspended in the match against Torino will certainly start against Shakhtar. The same goes for Daniele De Rossi.
The lineup will probably be the same as that in the 1st leg. Maksym Malyshev and Sergiy Kryvtsov are still out of the squad due to knee operation and ankle problem respectively.
Players To Watch
With 3 goals and 2 assists in 7 matches in the competition, Roma will rely on the Bosnian to influence their side to the quarterfinals. The 31-year-old will be in the mind of opposition defense who notched 2 past the in-form Napoli side in their 4-2 victory.
Fred will be the man to rely on the Shakhtar Donetsk. He can be the engine of the team with his high stamina and can create loads of spaces for his team to exploit. The victory of Shakhtar will depend much on this man. After all, his free-kick led to their 2-1 victory over the Italian side.
Nainggolan is certainly one of the most influential players on the pitch for AS Roma who is solid in both attack and defense for his team. He is known for his composure yet helps in scoring loads of goals for the team.
The Belgian has two goals and eight assists in all competitions and will be looking to carry that creative spark when meeting the Ukrainian side.
Roma vs Shakhtar Donetsk Lineup (Predicted XI)
Roma Lineup (4-4-2)
Def: Peres (RB), Manolas (CB), Fazio(CB), Kolarov(LB)
Mid: Gerson (RM), De Rossi (CM), Strootman(CM), Perotti(LM)
Def: Srna (RB), Ordets (CB), Rakitsy (CB), Ismaily (LB)
Mid: Zubkov (RM), Stepanenko (CM), Kovalenko (CAM), Fred (CM), Taison(LM)
Shakhtar Donetsk vs Roma Prediction
Both the teams are in great form at the moment. Roma with two consecutive wins have conceded two while the Ukrainian side are yet to concede since they last conceded against Roma. This will certainly be a close contest and a one to watch.
Our prediction: A bold 3-1 win for Roma to advance to the quarterfinals.