Daniele De Rossi previews first leg of Europa League semifinal

Andy Mattioli

Roma boss Daniele De Rossi spoke on the eve of the first leg of the Europa League semifinal with Bayer Leverkusen.

Ahead of Thursday night’s match, De Rossi addressed the media in his pre-match press conference.

“Lukaku? Based on yesterday’s training, he seems to be feeling pretty good, maybe today we’ll push a little more and then we’ll decide. I still have some doubts.”

“Smalling did an entire training session on the line, I hope and plan to recover both of them. We will see the management of the playing time.”

“As for the tactical question of Llorente on the right, sure, he can play there too. We also evaluate it based on how I see them every day, based on the experiments done with the central defenders placed on the right, we try to think about everything.”

“Bayer? There is everything to fear. The way they play, they have a long streak. They have interesting players. I respect their coach a lot. They have more work under their belts with the same coach. There is so much to fear.”

“One thing to respect is that they are unbeaten despite often going down. In addition to being strong and playing good football, they achieved an awareness and tenacity in achieving the result in the final minutes of every game. It’s one more thing that I fear and respect about them, but there are many things that make me respect them so much for.”

“Sometimes we score in the last minutes but it also depends on our mental and physical fitness. We too often score at the end. We want to achieve our objectives and we are in it until the last minutes, otherwise you won’t score in Udine, in Naples in a stadium like this and against a team like this, you won’t save a goal in the 95th minute, same in Florence. Ours is a team that believes in itself and has heart. From this point of view we are similar. Both teams will fight until the last second.”

“Bayer play well, they have strong players, they have one of the best coaches in the world but they also have something great inside. I don’t think it’s a burden to be undefeated, I would like to be, too, I think it’s a source of pride and motivation for them.”

“They have strong players placed in the ideal conditions to do well. They have a physical, solid team, but they also have great quality. Wirtz, Grimaldo. Schick has always been strong, but now he is a man. Boniface is strong. They have strong spares. If Frimpong doesn’t play, Tella plays.”

“They have quality players but also with great legs. They know how to play but they also know how to be direct. They have built a really strong team thanks to the coach’s ideas but also thanks to important signings.”

“We have an understanding of their playing style. We know we have to attack but also be careful. Now we are focused on the first match and then we will think about the return. We don’t think about last year’s games, because so much has changed. They are the same clubs, but they are different teams. They have greater awareness because they are now German champions. They’re undefeated, but we can do it.”

Match Center

MatchDay 36
12 May 20:45