Either Liverpool or Roma will reach the Champions League final, and they kick off their semifinal at Anfield. Here's what to watch for the opening leg.

By 90Min
April 23, 2018

So close they can almost taste it, Liverpool and AS Roma will be hoping it is their name etched on the Champions League trophy come the end of May. With only three games to go, anything is possible as the two sides look to write a new chapter in their storied histories on Tuesday.

Liverpool's reward for knocking out Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate is a two-legged tie against the Roma, with the second leg taking place at the Stadio Olimpico.

Liverpool fans may have been pleased to avoid European heavyweights Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in the draw. However, Roma's incredible turnaround against Barcelona in the quarters proves that Roma fear will no one and confidence will be sky-high for the Giallorossi.


Classic Encounter 

Liverpool and Roma have met on five previous occasions, the most notable of which being the 1984 European Cup Final in Rome. 

Liverpool took the lead in the 14th minute through Phil Neal, Roma then equalized on the stroke of half-time through Roberto Pruzzo. 

The second half and extra time were played out goalless which resulted in penalties - the game is notable for being the first European Cup final to go to penalties.

Liverpool started on the back-foot in the shoot-out when Steve Nicol missed his penalty. However, Bruno Conti and Francesco Graziani failed for Roma, leaving Alan Kennady to convert the decisive spot kick in a 4-2 shoot-out victory.

The victory sealed Liverpool's fourth European Cup triumph in eight years - Liverpool would have to wait until 2005 for their fifth.


Key Battle

Mohamed Salah vs. Aleksander Kolarov 

Kolarov, signed for Roma last summer bringing to an end his seven-year stint in the Premier League and the former Manchester City man is experiencing somewhat of an Indian summer in his career.

The 32-year-old who was snapped up by Roma for just £4.5m has been an instant success, establishing himself as Giallorossi's first choice left back, such was his impact that fellow fullback Emerson Palmieri was shipped off to Chelsea in January.

However, the powerful defender will no doubt come under pressure when facing off against the newly crowned PFA Player of the Year Mohamed Salah.

Formerly of Roma, Salah is experiencing a debut season few would have envisaged. The Egyptian has scored 41 times in 46 appearances for the Reds and is currently enjoying a season that will have even Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of.

Salah gave Laporte a headache in both of the quarter-final legs and Kolarov will have to be at his very best to nullify the 25-year-old. If he fails at his task, Salah will surely add to his eight Champions League goals.


Team News

Jordan Henderson will be available again after missing Liverpool's second-leg tie against Manchester City through suspension. While full-back Joe Gomez has returned from injury and will likely feature on the bench.

Liverpool rested Firmino, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren and Chamberlain during their 2-2 draw with West Brom on Saturday and all four will likely start the game on Tuesday.

Roma will be boosted by the return to fitness of Diego Perotti, who returned to first-team action on the weekend after a three-week absence.

Kolarov, Alessandro Florenzi, Danielle De Rossi and Edin Dzeko were all rested in Roma's 3-0 victory over SPAL and all will be odds on to start the clash at Anfield.

Confirmed absentees for Liverpool are Emre Can, Joel Matip and Adam Lallana, while Roma will be without Ricky Karsdorp.


Recent Form

Liverpool: WDWWD

Liverpool are currently enjoying a seven-game unbeaten streak since their 2-1 loss away at Old Trafford in March. 

The Reds' attackers have been drawing all the headlines this season and justifiably so seen as Liverpool have struck 80 times in the League and a further 33 in the Champions League -averaging 3.3 goals per game in the UCL.

However, it has been Liverpool's defenders who have been quietly efficient of late, this in part in down to the work of January signing Virgil van Dijk. Liverpool have conceded just six goals in their previous 13 games, conceding just the one at Anfield.

AS Roma: LWDWW

Roma are hitting form at the right time having won three of their last 4 games and unlike Liverpool were able to record a victory over the weekend ahead of their meeting on Tuesday.

Like Liverpool, Roma are sitting third in their respective League. However, they lead Inter in fifth place by just a single point. The Champions League race in Italy is extremely tight and Roma will be weary of any complacency.

Roma have conceded 15 goals in 10 Champions League matches, which will excite Liverpool. However, the Giallorossi are yet to concede at the Stadio Olimpico in the competition, so Liverpool will hope to build a defendable lead going into the second leg.

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