United vs AS Roma (UEL Semifinals) Team News: Smalling, Pedro, Martial

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Can Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally break the semifinal jinx? Will the fourth time be the charm? The chance to finally clear this next hurdle begins Thursday night when the Red Devils welcome AS Roma into Old Trafford.

This will be the first leg of the two legged tie, so let’s dive right in and preview. We have a whole lot of storylines to cover.

roma

Manchester United vs AS Roma UEL Semifinal FYIs

Leg 1/2 Kickoff: Thu April 29, 8pm, Old Trafford

United Starting XI Prediction: go here

TV: BT Sport 2

Odds: United win 4/7  draw 7/2   Roma win 11/2

Head to Head: United wins 4   draw 1   Roma win 1

Team News for Both Sides 

Reunited, and it feels so good- former United and current AS Roma central defender Chris Smalling is back and in line for a first team start here. After a long lay-off, he made his first start in over a month, this past weekend, in the 3-2 loss to Cagliari. We’ll have another reunion in Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who after struggling at both United and Arsenal, finally found new life in the eternal city. The 32-year-old Armenian has 11 goals and 11 assists this season.

Another aging former Premier Leaguer, ex-Chelsea forward Pedro, will out on the first leg, due to a muscular injury. Riccardo Calafiori has been battling a similar issue and could miss out while Antonio Mirante is a doubt at well.

Promising midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo emains out after suffering a second ACL injury back in September on international duty. Finally, central defender Gianluca Mancini, is suspended for this one.

Flipping over to the hosts, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay all served their one-match suspensions during the second leg of the last round, so they are available for selection here again. From this round onward, it’s a fresh start, from a disciplinary perpsective so no yellow card worries here.

United’s only absentees here are the duo with knee injuries, Anthony Martial and Phil Jones.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports IllustratedChicago Tribune and SB NationFollow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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