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Bayer Leverkusen vs Roma: Preview and Prediction

Bayer Leverkusen, the new champions of Germany, may add another jewel to their remarkable crown as they have only five matches left to achieve a never-before-seen treble. After their 2-0 victory in the first leg of the Europa League (LEU) semi-final against Roma and their impressive 5-1 win in the league last weekend, Xabi Alonso’s men made history by matching Benfica’s unbeaten record in Europe (including European competitions) in a single season with 48 matches (40 wins, 8 draws).

Reaching their first European final in 22 years at the expense of Roma would be even more satisfying as they were eliminated at this stage of the competition last season against the same opponents. Everything suggests that it will not be the same this time, as Leverkusen is on an eight-game unbeaten run at home in the LEU (6 wins, 2 draws) and has qualified nine times out of ten when winning the first leg away in a two-legged European match.

Daniele De Rossi’s Roma, who will travel to Germany after a 1-1 draw against Juventus in the league, will need an unlikely comeback if they want to reach their third European final in three seasons. Even the most optimistic supporters might struggle to believe it at this point, as Roma has only qualified in one of their six historical European confrontations after losing the first leg at home.

The Giallorossi have been eliminated in all three cases where the first leg at home ended in a 2-0 defeat, not to mention their poor record away against German opponents in European competitions (2 wins, 2 draws, 11 defeats). To make matters worse, Roma’s last away victory in this competition, in the quarter-finals against AC Milan, was only the team’s second win in their last ten trips on the Old Continent (2 wins, 4 draws, 4 defeats).

Players to watch: Last weekend, Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick scored his fourth decisive goal in his last four matches. Incredibly, four of his last six goals have been scored in stoppage time in the second half! Roma’s full-back Angeliño should have the necessary experience for this match, having never played against a team as often as he has against Leverkusen (3 wins, 2 draws, 3 defeats), even though he has not yet contributed to a goal against them.

Hot stat: Leverkusen has only won four of their 12 historical home matches against Italian opponents (4 wins, 3 draws, 5 defeats).

Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 Roma

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