We look ahead to the first leg of this UEFA Europa League last-16 clash at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with our Roma vs Brighton prediction and preview.

Roma vs Brighton Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Roma are predicted to win this game on Thursday, with the Serie A side winning in 44.2% of pre-match simulations.
  • Premier League clubs have progressed from seven of their nine knockout ties against Italian clubs in the UEFA Europa League, including their last five in a row.
  • Roma have only lost one of their last 23 home games in the UEFA Europa League (W17 D5).

Match Preview

Brighton and Hove Albion’s European adventure continues on Thursday evening as they travel to the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to face Serie A side Roma.

They have become the first English club to reach the knockout stage in their first ever European campaign since Bolton Wanderers in the 2005-06 UEFA Cup and will look to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League with victory over Roma.

Each of the last eight seasons have seen at least one English club in the final eight of the competition. Manchester United managed it last year before being defeated by Sevilla over two legs.

Getting anything from this first leg won’t be easy. Roma have only lost one of their last 23 home games in the Europa League (W17 D5) – a 2-1 defeat to Real Betis in the 2022-23 group stage, since which they have won eight of nine home games in the competition (D1).

Brighton will be without Solly March, Kaoru Mitoma, James Milner, Jack Hinshelwood and their current Europa League 2023-24 top scorer João Pedro through injury. The Brazilian has scored six of their 10 goals in the competition, level with Roma’s Romelu Lukaku and below only Marseille striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (7).

Lukaku should start for Roma, with the Belgian scoring 17 goals in 34 competitive games this season for the club – only Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martínez (26) has scored more across all competitions for Serie A sides in 2023-24. His goal in the 4-1 win over Monza this weekend ended a run of three games without scoring.

Lukaku Goals Roma 2023-24

He should be joined in attack by Paulo Dybala, who has 13 goals and seven assists in all competitions this season and is their leading creative threat in the squad (40 chances created).

Roma are soon set to welcome back Tammy Abraham following an ACL injury suffered last summer, but this clash looks like coming too soon for the English striker.

Roma vs Brighton Head-to-Head

With this being Brighton’s first ever season in European competition, they have never previously faced Roma in a competitive fixture. This will be their first ever meeting with an Italian club in European competition.

Roma last faced an English side in Europe with their UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final tie against Leicester City in 2021-22. They drew 1-1 away in England before winning 1-0 at home and going on to beat Feyenoord in the final.

The Italian side’s last Europa League tie against a Premier League club came in 2020-21 in the semi-finals, when they were knocked out by Manchester United after losing the first leg 6-2 at Old Trafford before winning 3-2 at home.

Premier League sides have progressed from seven of their nine knockout ties against Italian clubs in the Europa League, including their last five in a row since Tottenham were knocked out of the 2014-15 last 32 by Fiorentina.

Recent Form

Since sacking José Mourinho on 16 January, Roma have lost just one of their nine competitive games under Daniele De Rossi, winning six of those. Their only defeat in this run came against runaway Serie A leaders Inter (4-2) on 10 February.

Since De Rossi’s first game in charge against Verona on 20 January, Roma have scored 22 goals in nine games across all competitions – Inter are the only Serie A side to score as many in this period.

They beat Monza 4-1 away in Serie A on Saturday to follow two league wins versus Torino (3-2) and Frosinone (3-0).

Roma have made it to this stage of the Europa League following victory over Feyenoord in the knockout round play-offs. They drew 1-1 in both legs before progressing via a penalty-shootout victory in the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico (4-2).

They finished second in Group G behind Slavia Prague with 13 points from a possible 18 (W4 D1 L1) and ahead of Servette and Sheriff Tiraspol.

Roberto Di Zerbi’s Brighton have struggled for consistency since the start of December, winning seven, drawing five and losing six of their 18 competitive matches. They haven’t won back-to-back games since 30 November. Their last two matches have ended in defeat, losing 1-0 to Wolves in the FA Cup and 3-0 at Fulham in the Premier League on Saturday.

In this competition, Brighton won Group B ahead of French side Marseille, Dutch giants Ajax and Greek side AEK Athens. They had the exact same record as Roma in the group stage – 13 points, four wins, one draw and a defeat – while they scored fewer goals (10 vs 12) and conceded more often (5 vs 4).

Opta Power Rankings

The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.

Ahead of kick-off on Thursday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Roma vs Brighton Prediction

Roma vs Brighton Prediction

The Opta supercomputer predicts that Roma will win the first leg of this UEFA Europa League last-16 tie, with the Serie A side winning 44.2% of pre-match simulations compared to Brighton’s 30.6%.

A draw would be an excellent result for the Premier League club to take back to the AMEX Stadium next week. Across the 10,000 pre-match sims, 25.2% of them ended in a draw.

Both Brighton and Roma are being given similar chances of winning the Europa League this season by the Opta supercomputer. Brighton are given a 4.4% chance and Roma a 4.1% chance – eighth and ninth favourites respectively.

Liverpool are deemed the most likely side to win the competition (29.9%) ahead of Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen (21.7%) and Italian giants Milan (9.2%).

Europa League Predictions

Roma vs Brighton UEL Squads

Roma: Rui Patrício, Pietro Boer, Mile Svilar, Rick Karsdorp, Evan N’Dicka, Chris Smalling, Diego Llorente, Zeki Çelik, Gianluca Mancini, Leonardo Spinazzola, Angeliño, Matteo Plaia, Bryan Cristante, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Leandro Paredes, Renato Sanches, Houssem Aouar, Edoardo Bove, Nicola Zalewski, Riccardo Pagano, Niccolò Pisilli, Martin Vetkal, Mattia Mannini, Francesco D’Alessio, Tammy Abraham, Sardar Azmoun, Paulo Dybala, Tommaso Baldanzi, Luigi Cherubini, João Costa, Romelu Lukaku, Stephan El Shaarawy.

Head Coach: Daniele De Rossi

Brighton & Hove Albion: Bart Verbruggen, Jason Steele, Thomas McGill, Tariq Lamptey, Igor Julio, Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk, Jan-Paul van Hecke, Pervis Estupiñán, Joël Veltman, James Milner, Solly March, Billy Gilmour, Pascal Groß, Adam Lallana, Jakub Moder, Carlos Baleba, Kaoru Mitoma, Facundo Buonanotte, Jack Hinshelwood, João Pedro, Julio Enciso, Danny Welbeck, Simon Adingra, Evan Ferguson, Ansu Fati.

Head Coach: Roberto Di Zerbi

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