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Paul Higham is expecting goals at both ends at Stadio Olimpico but is backing the Reds to make the Champions League final in Kiev.


Champions League recommended bets

1pt Edin Dzeko & Sadio Mane both to score at 6/1

For details of advised bookmakers and each-way terms, visit our transparent tipping record


Roma v Liverpool (1945 BST, BT Sport 2)

Liverpool should be heading to Rome to merely rubber stamp their progress into the Champions League final, but two late goals at Anfield have many fearing the worst ahead of their big test at Stadio Olimpico.

The fact that the Giallorossi performed the exact turnaround they now need against Barcelona in the last round means that hopes are high in the Eternal City and results in them being 8/1 to qualify. It’s 33/1 that they repeat their 3-0 victory over Barca against Liverpool.

Those two late Roma strikes did take the shine off what was a fantastic Liverpool performance last week, and lost in the talk of a Roma comeback is that fact that Jugen Klopp’s men have now gone into both a Champions League quarter and semi-final second leg with a three-goal lead.

That’s a phenomenal performance in Europe’s elite club competition and the fact they then won at the Etihad, against the runaway Premier League champions, should be giving Liverpool fans plenty of optimism.

Playing with a three-goal lead proved an awkward proposition for the Reds in the last round, but that lesson should stand them in good stead – and although they won’t face a team as good as City they’ll face an atmosphere much more fierce in Stadio Olimpico than they did at the Etihad.

Roma fans ahead of their win over Barcelona in the Champions League
Roma fans starred in their win over Barcelona in the Champions League

In Roma’s favour they are in good form domestically and battered Chievo with a much-changed team at the weekend while Liverpool were held at home by Stoke, and they surely can’t play as badly as they did at Anfield.

Given the hapless defending in the first leg it’s hard to believe that Roma haven’t yet conceded a goal at home in this season’s Champions League, but in Liverpool they face one of the most clinical counter-attacking sides in Europe.

Eusebio Di Francesco will surely not employ the high defensive line again, but with Diego Perotti and Kevin Strootman struggling to make the game with injury he may again have to go with a back three.

That could expose Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus to Mohamed Salah once again and there’s no surprise to see the Egyptian goal machine priced at 8/11 to score in 90 minutes.

Having Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain out for the season is a big blow for Liverpool as he was really growing into that midfield role, but Gini Wijnaldum provided plenty of energy in his place and he'll be deployed again alongside Jordan Henderson and James Milner in a hard-working midfield trio who'll try and deny time and space for Roma's ball players.

Playing on the break as they well could though, Sadio Mane at 2/1 to score anytime looks the value of the famed Liverpool front three as long as he’s fit enough to play.

Edin Dzeko is Roma’s star man, he started the Barcelona comeback with a sixth-minute goal and he’s 4/1 to open the scoring again. Given how Roma like to attack down the wings, Dzeko to score a header at 8/1 makes some appeal, as does the 6/1 on him and Mane both to find the net.

Liverpool may not be as good as the first leg, Roma will certainly not be as bad, and while they will most probably test Liverpool's nerves during the game it's hard to believe that the Reds will not carve out enough openings to score a goal or two.

Coming back from three goals down is not as easy as Roma made it look in the last round, just ask Manchester City, so although you'd have to fancy Dzeko and co to score Liverpool should have enough to book their place in the final in Kiev.

Score prediction: Roma 1-2 Liverpool (Sky Bet odds: 10/1)

Best bet: Sadio Mane and Edin Dzeko both to score at 6/1

Alternative: Both teams to score & Liverpool to win at 5/2

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Preview posted at 1511 BST (1/05/2018)

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