Liverpool on Verge of Ousting Roma for Berth in Final

Sunday, April 29, 2018 8:34 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 29, 2018 8:34 PM UTC

Roma needs another miracle when they host Liverpool and scoring sensation Mohamed Salah in a Champions League semifinal second-leg clash Wednesday.

<h2 style="text-align:center;"><a href="" title="AS Roma vs. Liverpool FC">Champions League Semifinals: AS Roma vs. Liverpool FC</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3448452, "sportsbooksIds":[238,180,999996,1096,93], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>Roma was down 4-1 in the quarterfinals against Barcelona, but they produced a 3-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico that stunned Europe and saw them through. Their reward was a semifinal matchup against an exciting Liverpool side, and they found themselves down 5-0 courtesy of Mohamed Salah’s genius. But Roma gave themselves a lifeline by plundering two late goals and reducing the deficit to three as the teams head into Wednesday's second-leg game. If they conjure up another 3-0 victory, they will reach their first-ever Champions League final.</p><p>The chances of lightning striking twice are slim, but there have been some sensational second-leg comebacks in European football this season, and Roma provided the finest, so never say never. However, they would need to contain an absolutely rampant Liverpool attack, and that is a monumentally difficult task. The Reds were heavy underdogs against fellow Premiership side Man City in the previous round, but they won home and away. Their heavy-metal pressing game was simply too much.</p><p>Salah is arguably the world’s most in-form attacker, and the Egyptian virtuoso has now taken his goals tally to 43 for the season. He scored in both legs against Man City, and then he put Roma – his former club – to the sword with two sensational strikes last week. He was the best player on the pitch and ran rings around his former teammates, finishing the game with two assists and ringing applause. But take nothing away from teammate Roberto Firmino, an intelligent striker who pulls defenders out of position, allowing Salah to cause untold misery. The Brazilian also finished the game with a brace, and Sadio Mane scored a tap-in.</p><p>That attacking triumvirate will come to the fore again in Rome. It is hard to imagine Liverpool being as sloppy as Barcelona was, and Jurgen Klopp will have his men exceptionally well-drilled heading into the biggest game of their lives. For 75 minutes of the first leg, it was men versus boys and Liverpool’s superior quality was horribly stark. They let their guard down and conceded twice, but if they play with a similar level of intensity at the Stadio Olimpico, they should win again.</p><p>Liverpool is a +169 underdog on the <a href="" title="Soccer Odds">soccer odds board</a> with <a href=";book=Pinnacle" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Pinnacle</a>, and that looks like an amazing set of odds on one of the world’s most exciting teams. They will be without injured midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but they have plenty of willing and able midfielders to fill his boots. The main aim will be to get Salah on the ball as much as possible, and him scoring is almost a given now. Some bookmakers are offering -109 on that outcome, while <a href=";book= William Hill" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">William Hill</a> has -154 and that also looks like a fantastic price. Everything Salah touches turns to goals at the moment, and his pace will cause all manner of problems for Roma’s center-backs.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Dear Mo Salah,&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;How did you score twice &amp;amp; assist twice against mighty AS Roma, tell me your secret.&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;Yours Truly,&lt;br /&gt;Lionel Messi. &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Football Banter (@FbBanterPage) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;April 25, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>If Salah gets on the score sheet, Roma will have to score four times to reach the final, and that looks highly unlikely. They are +950 with <a href=";book=Pinnacle" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Pinnacle</a> to make it through to the final, while Liverpool is -2000. Anyone who watched Roma’s comeback against Barcelona might be tempted to back Roma at such long odds with their <a href="" title="Free Sports Picks">soccer picks</a>, but that seems highly risky as Liverpool will have learned from that game and they will display greater intensity and concentration. Liverpool is on the brink of another Champions League final and will be pumped up for this game, so an away win could well be on the cards.</p>
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