Leicester City and Roma will begin their fight for a place in the Europa Conference League final on Thursday, with the first leg taking place at the King Power Stadium.
The Foxes overturned a late deficit to get past PSV Eindhoven in the quarter-finals, while a rampant second-leg display saw the Italian side dump out Bodo/Glimt.
In what has been a mixed domestic season for Leicester City in the Premier League, with the Foxes failing to keep pace in the fight for continental qualification, a European run has been somewhat of a shining light.
After dropping out of their Europa League group in third place, they entered Europe’s third competition in the playoff round, and they thrashed Randers 7-2 over two legs before seeing off French outfit Rennes, eventually triumphing with a 3-2 aggregate win thanks to a 2-0 victory on home turf.
That booked a semi-final tie with Dutch high-fliers PSV Eindhoven, and, after a goalless first leg, Brendan Rodgers’s side fell behind in the Netherlands and trailed by one goal with 15 minutes to go.
James Maddison then levelled the scoring, before Ricardo Pereira popped up with an 88th-minute winner to see them come out on top away from home and progress to the final four.
With the Midlands outfit 10th in the English top flight, after consecutive draws with Newcastle United and Aston Villa, the Europa Conference League presents their only viable chance to play on the continent next season, and they will hope to gain a lead in the tie on Thursday with home advantage.
Roma coach Jose Mourinho celebrates after the match on April 14, 2022© Reuters
They welcome a Roma side who have been heavily fancied to go far in the Europa Conference League since the beginning of the group stage, as Jose Mourinho’s side cruised through to the round of 16 with relative ease, other than a shock 6-1 thrashing at the hands of Bodo/Glimt.
The Italian outfit then battled hard to scrape past Vitesse, before meeting Bodo/Glimt in the quarter-finals, and they again fell behind against the Norwegian side, heading into the second leg 2-1 down.
Mourinho’s men were able to overturn the deficit on that occasion, though, picking up a dominant 4-0 victory on the day thanks to a Nicolo Zaniolo hat-trick after Tammy Abraham’s opener.
That win saw the Giallorossi book their spot in the semi-finals, and they head into Thursday’s first leg aiming to bounce back from a 3-1 league defeat to Inter Milan at the weekend, leaving them eight points outside of the top four in Serie A.
With the Conference League also being their only chance of silverware this season, Roma will aim to put themselves in a strong position before welcoming the Foxes to the Italian capital next week.