Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma have not enjoyed the smooth passage they were hoping for in this season’s Europa Conference League group stage and their qualification hopes could be left in tatters if they fail to beat Zorya Luhansk.
The penultimate round of fixtures in this season’s group stage will be contested on Thursday, with a total of 16 matches being played, with one of the standout fixtures undoubtedly coming at the Stadio Olimpico in Group C.
Roma currently sit second in the group after only taking one point from their two fixtures against leaders Bodo/Glimt, a sequence that has also allowed Ukrainian outfit Zorya to close to within a point of I Giallorossi in the standings.
That has heaped the pressure on Mourinho’s side and they are not heading into Thursday’s contest in great form, as although they snapped a three-match winless run against Genoa in Serie A at the weekend, they are are still without a victory on home soil since beating Empoli at the start of October.
Zorya have won back-to-back games in the Conference League against CSKA Sofia and although they are very much the underdogs heading into Thursday’s match, they could capitalise on Roma’s recent struggles, with the double chance of a draw or an away win looking an intriguing option at 21/4.
Rennes to Seal Group G Progress
Rennes can secure their place in the knockout stages of the Conference League if they avoid defeat against Vitesse Arnhem on home soil, while a victory would go a long way to wrapping up top spot in Group G, which also contains Tottenham Hotspur and NS Mura.
The Ligue1 outfit are unbeaten in this season’s group stage, taking 10 points from a possible 12, while they have not tasted defeat in any competition since September, winning nine of the 11 matches they have played since.
That run includes winning six matches on the spin at Roazhon Park, during which time they have conceded just one goal, making Rennes to win to nil all the more plausible at 23/20.
Vitesse realistically need to win in France to keep their qualification hopes alive, but Thomas Letsch’s side have lost three of their previous five matches across all competitions and they will be without first-choice goalkeeper Markus Schubert and captain Danilho Doekhi due to suspension.
Slovan to Win Pivotal Encounter
There looks set to be a pivotal encounter between Slovan Bratislava and PAOK in Group F on Thursday, as the winner of that contest will secure their place in the knockout stages, while the loser will be eliminated, presuming as expected, Copenhagen beat group whipping boys Lincoln Red Imps.
Slovan have home advantage for the contest and they will also head into the match in imperious form as they have won 10 games on the spin across all competitions since drawing against PAOK in Greece on Matchday Two.
PAOK’s form has not been so impressive as they have lost three of their last five games, most recently going down 2-0 at Atromitos in the Greek Super League on Sunday.
The momentum certainly appears to be with Slovan, who won’t want to head to Copenhagen on Matchday Six still needing a positive result to qualify, with the Slovakian champions priced at 43/20 to win Thursday’s contest.
*All odds correct at time of writing.