Our prediction for this Europa League match:
All eyes will be on Estadio Benito Villamarin when Real Betis and Roma square off against each other in the Europa League Group C derby. The Giallorossi are hungry for revenge, but beating los Beticos in Andalusia is easier said than done. To make things even worse for Jose Mourinho’s team, Paulo Dybala has joined Wijnaldum, Celik, Darboe, and Karsdorp in the recovery room after limping off with injury in a 2-1 win over Lecce at the weekend.
Nicolo Zaniolo is banned for the visitors. Manuel Pellegrini’s men, on the other hand, aim to keep their 100% record in Group C intact, and seeing that the Romans head into Thursday’s clash with a severely-weakened squad, we are tempted to put our money on the home side. Luis Felipe is back from a domestic ban, while all Fekir, Juanmi, and Camarasa should miss out with injuries.
Highlighted Player (Willian José):
Well-travelled Brazilian international Willian Jose was born in Porto Calvo and made his first football steps at a local Clube de Regatas. It was at the age of 17 that he was snapped by Gremio Barueri where he made 26 league appearances and scored six goal in his first – and only – senior season at the club.
In 2011, Willian Jose moved to Deportivo Maldonado but his five-year stint with the Uruguay outfit was marked by no less than seven different loan spells, one of which was to La Liga heavyweights Real Madrid. Standing at 186cm tall, Willian Jose is a notable presence in the box. This powerful centre forward will use his physicality to hold up ball and bring his teammates into play.
The Brazilian international did well to make a name for himself in Spain by playing for Zaragoza and Las Palmas, respectively, before he sealed a permanent move to Real Sociedad in 2016. A member of both FIFA U-20 World Cup and South American Youth Championship winning sides with Brazil in 2011, Willian Jose has not been given a chance to prove his worth at the senior level with Selecao.
Highlighted Team (AS Roma):
AS Roma is a professional football club based in Rome. Roma were founded by a merger in 1927 and they play in the Italian Serie A. Roma’s fiercest rivals are Lazio and it has to be noted that both capital clubs play their home games at Stadio Olimpico. The two local rivals face each other in the Derby della Capitale, which is considered one of the most exciting derbies in the world of football.
The Giallorossi (The Yellow and Reds) have won three Serie A titles (1941/1942, 1982/1983, 2000/2001), while winning nine Coppa Italia trophies. The colour of Roma’s shirts is imperial purple with a golden yellow trim. A number of top-class footballers were part of Roma in the past, but Francesco Totti is undisputedly the club’s biggest legend.The Prince of Rom made his 601 appearances for Roma on 14 May, 2016 when the Giallorossi recorded a 3-1 win over Milan at Stadio San Siro.