United at AS Roma (UEL Semifinals) Team News: Mourinho, Mancini, Lopez

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A major bombshell dropped ahead of the Manchester United-AS Roma Europa League semifinal second leg. Former United boss Jose Mourinho will become the new manager in Rome. He’ll take over the Serie A side once the season ends and the off-season begins.

The club statement reads: “Mourinho has agreed a three-year contract with the Giallorossi that will run until 30 June 2024. He will begin his new role ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.” This was a shock announcement that no one saw coming on Tuesday.

This announcement came swiftly after the today’s first major club announcement- that current manager Paulo Fonseca is sacked, and will be departing at the end of the season.

As expected, social media had a lot of fun with this announcement, especially the Mourinho reunites with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Chris Smalling aspect. United already have one foot in the UEL final, and today their opponents on Thursday hired the very same man who guided them to that stage (and won it) in 2017.

Given how disastrous Mourinho’s tenure at Tottenham Hotspur was, it’s natural to view his upcoming tenure in the eternal city with a healthy dose of skepticism.

jose mourinho

Manchester United vs AS Roma UEL Semifinal FYIs

Leg 2/2 Kickoff: Thu May 6, 8pm, Stadio Olimpico

Tie: United lead 6-2

United Starting XI Prediction: go here

TV: BT Sport

Odds: Roma reaching the final: 50/1

Head to Head: United wins 5   draw 1   Roma win 1

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Team News for Both Sides

United’s only absentees here are the duo with knee injuries, Anthony Martial and Phil Jones. As for the hosts, Jordan Veretout, Leonardo Spinazzola and Pau Lopez all left the first leg of this tie due to fitness issues.

None of the triad featured in the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Sampdoria over the weekend, so it’s probably unlikely we see any members of this troika feature on Thursday night. Amadou Diawara and Carles Perez were also out, so we probably won’t see them either.

However, defender Gianluca Mancini has finished serving his suspension, so he’ll be eligible for selection. So that’s a positive.

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Prediction: United 2, AS Roma 1

Neither side have much to play for here as this tie is pretty much over. Don’t expect too much ambition in this one. United can go on autopilot as the final in Gdansk awaits. Roma have a lame duck/dead man walking manager.

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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