Liverpool vs. Roma
|Date & Time||Tuesday April 24, 2018, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Roma -200 / Liverpool +550 / Draw +333 -- Over/Under: 2.5
FOX Sports, ESPN
Liverpool and Roma meet Tuesday in the soccer UEFA Champions League semifinals at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp has Liverpool peaking at the right time, as this is a team that’s scored two or more goals in seven of its last eight matches, which includes lighting up Man City for five goals in two games. With a trio such as Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Liverpool is downright loaded on the offensive end and are capable of finding the back of the net at any moment. And while those players get most of the attention and the offense is fun to watch, Liverpool has improved defensively over time, allowing a combined one goal in its last five matches and actually taking pride getting stops. Loris Karius has done a much better job in net and gives you a better feeling about this club than maybe earlier in matches. Liverpool has become a more balanced team as of late, and that makes this team a legit threat to win the tournament.
Roma enters this match as the least decorated team remaining, as its won three league titles compared to 33 for Real Madrid, 28 for Bayern and 18 for Liverpool. But don’t sell Roma short, as this is also an aggressive offensive club that likes to control the pace and get as many quality looks as possible for Edin Dzeko, Diego Perotti and Cengiz Under. Roma just lit up Barcelona 3-0 and could have easily won that game in a bigger blowout after getting seven of its 16 shot attempts on target. This is also the team with the last pressure on its shoulders, as nobody really expected Roma to make it this far in the tournament, which included beating Chelsea and Barcelona. Roma is a team not short on confidence and will show up to play with nothing to lose, making them a scary opponent the rest of the way.
Roma won the last meeting against Liverpool 2-1 in a 2016 friendly and has actually won the last two meetings overall. Liverpool’s last win over Roma was in 2002. Three of the last four matches have produced a combined two or less goals.
Roma has proven its a live dog based on what its done to get to this point. Eventually you have to give credit where its due and stop doubting the other side. However, I’m not sure how anybody bets against Liverpool in its current form, an offensive machine that shows up every match, and a defense that has improved deeper into the tournament. The price we’re getting also isn’t crazy steep.
I like Liverpool to stay hot and get the victory.