As soon as the Europa League round of 16 draws were made, all eyes were on the biggest clash of the pre-quarterfinals between Lyon and Roma. The two clubs lived to the billing in the first leg, which witnessed six goals, where Lyon finished on top with the final score reading 4-2. Though Lyon have a good lead, Roma will be looking for a massive comeback when the two teams meet for the round of 16 second leg encounter at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Thursday.
Roma, after scoring those crucial two away goals, are not in a bad position themselves. Roma can progress to the next round of the Europa League if they can score two goals without conceding one.
Both teams have enjoyed a good run in their respective domestic leagues. Lyon defeated Toulouse while Roma beat Palermo, but this Europa League clash is going to be completely different ball game as there will be pressure on both teams to deliver.
The home team will look forward to their talismanic forward Edin Dzeko for goals.
"In my eyes tomorrow is going to be every harder than the first leg, because we need to score at least two goals to qualify for the next round. Everyone says that we're a great side and I believe that too - but tomorrow is the perfect match for us to prove it," Roma's official website quoted Dzeko as saying.
Besides Dzeko, Roma will also need performances from El Shaarawy, Radja Nainggolan and Mohamed Salah to edge out Lyon.
Meanwhile, Lyon will count on the flair of goal-scorer Alexandre Lacazette and Mathieu Valbuena to challenge Roma. However, Lyon have to be spot on with their defence.
Lyon manager Bruno Genesio is aware of the task that lies ahead.
"We are growing, European competition helps bring maturity, but Roma are one of the favourites for this trophy, they want to keep going and so do we. The essential thing is going to be balance. We must defend well, because Roma will put pressure on us. Roma are a very strong team, the second best in Italy, so they are among the favourites in the Europa League. We've got confidence, but must also be humble," Football Italia quoted Genesio as saying.
"Play with belief, but also keep our heads down and focus, because we don't know what difficulties we will run into. I expect Roma to play at a high tempo and to press us, so what we must do is be ready to respond and hurt them with our forwards."
Though Roma might come all guns blazing, Lyon will have plenty of spaces to work with. They also need to work on their counter to score goals.
Where to watch live:
Roma vs Lyon Europa League clash is scheduled for 9.05 pm local time, 1.35 am IST, 8.05 pm GMT, 4.05 pm ET.
Here is the live TV and streaming options.
India: TV:Ten 1. Live streaming:Ten Sports Live.
UK: TV: BT Sports 3. Live Streaming: Watch BT Sport.
USA: TV: ESPN 3. Live streaming:Watch ESPN
Spain: TV: Movistar+
France: TV: Bein Sports 1
Africa: TV: SuperSport 5. Live streaming:SuperSport live.
Middle East: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming:Bein Sports Connect.