Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Stadio Olimpico will host Thursday’s football game between Roma and CSKA Sofia. The Giallorossi could not have wished for a better start to their Europa League campaign, with the team beating Young Boys on the road. The Serie A outfit have been in a fine form in all competitions of late, and they are likely to stick to their attacking style of play against CSKA Sofia.
The likes of Zaniolo and Smalling remain in the recovery room, while Diawara and Calafiori are unlikely to feature against CSKA after the duo was tested positive for coronavirus. The Bulgarian outfit failed to impress in a 2-0 loss to Cluj, which is yet another reason why we are tempted to put our money on the hosts. Borja Mayoral is widely expected to lead the line for the hosts as Paulo Fonseca will use Europa League games to rest experienced attacker Edin Dzeko.
Highlighted Player (Nikola Kalinic):
Nikola Kalinic is a product of Hajduk Split’s youth school. The 187-cm-tall striker scored 32 goals in 59 appearances for Hajduk at senior level and he played for the likes of Pula and Sibenik in Croatia as well. In 2009 he moved to Blackburn Rovers for fee of £6 million.
Nikola Kalinic made his Blackburn Rovers debut against Sunderland on 22 August, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the Riversiders against Peterborough United in the League Cup. After making 44 league appearances for Blackburn Rovers, the Croatian attacker joined Dnipro in 2011 and he played for the Ukrainian outfit until 2015.
Kalinic signed a four-year deal with Fiorentina on 15 August, 2015 and he impressed in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign, scoring 12 goals in 36 games. The Fiorentina striker made two appearances for Croatia at the 2016 European Championship in France and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 2-1 win over Spain in the group stages of the competition.
Highlighted Team (CSKA Sofia):
CSKA Sofia are a Bulgarian football club that welcome their rivals at Bulgarian Army Stadium. The Armymen are well known for their red shirts, while they wear white jerseys on the travels. The Reds won their 31st national championship in the 2007/08 season, with the team finishing the process 16 points clear of the second-place Levski Sofia.
CSKA have won 20 Bulgarian Cup titles (last in 2016). Levski Sofia are considered the club’s fiercest rivals, and there have always been fireworks in matches between the two teams. CSKA made it to the Champions League semis on two occasions.
In the 1966/67 campaign the Armymen were more than unfortunate not to beat Inter in the semifinals, with the team losing to Bayern Munchen 7-4 (on agg.) in their second attempt to go all the way in the elite competition. CSKA Sofia’s home ground was opened in 1967, and it can hold up to 22,995 spectators.