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Leicester’s James Maddison could have a key role to play
Free football tips, best bets and analysis for the Europa Conference League semi-final first leg between Leicester and Roma on Thursday.
where to watch
BT Sport 3, 8 p.m. Thursday
James Maddison first goalscorer
1pt each way 8-1 bet365
Wilfred Ndidi and Ryan Bertrand are injured. Nampalys Mendy is not registered for this competition but Boubakary Soumare is fit again.
Nicolo Zaniolo returns from a nationwide ban. Bryan Cristante (back) should be fine.
Brendan Rodgers must edge out former boss Jose Mourinho if Leicester are to deliver the performance that will give them a glimpse of qualification for a first European final in Rome next week.
Leicester are 180 minutes away from achieving something very special, ironically in a competition Rodgers claimed he had never heard of as his side bungled the Europa League group stage in the autumn.
But his side excelled in Europe’s third tournament, the Conference League, beating Randers 7-2 on aggregate before blasting their way past two very capable sides, Rennes and PSV.
Roma have been there from the start, scoring – they have found the net in their 12 appearances – as they hunt for a first trophy since the 2008 Coppa Italia.
The Giallorossi, with the Special One in charge, come to King Power with kudos, glamor and pedigree. However, they also come with Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham by their side, so no one is claiming they’re some kind of superpower.
England striker Abraham is actually the tournament’s top scorer with eight and is enjoying a decent time in Rome, where Wolves are locked in a fascinating four-way battle for a pair of Europa League places. They lost 3-1 at Inter Milan last time out.
There’s a feeling Abraham will have chances in a game that promises goals, if only because there have been so many in Roma’s games this season. They’ve conceded 40 goals in Serie A while Leicester have dispatched 51 in the Premier League, so neither team is particularly tight.
There is another man with a keen eye for goal who makes a good number of first goalscorer calls at 8-1 and that is Leicester’s James Maddison, who has scored 14 goals out of the lead this season, including four in Europe .
Roma have scored exactly one goal in each of their last seven away games.
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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 5:05 PM, APRIL 27, 2022