Paulo Fonseca admits Roma face an almost impossible task in attempting to reach the Europa League final, but insists they will fight all the way against Manchester United (FT result – Roma 3/1, draw 3/1, Manchester United 17/20).
The Italian outfit made a positive start to the first-leg of their semi-final tie at Old Trafford last Thursday, leading 2-1 at half time.
However, United (1/2 fav – Europa League outright) came out with a renewed energy in the second period as they went on to claim a 6-2 first-leg triumph.
Thursday’s return leg at the Stadio Olimpico should be a wide-open affair as Roma, who confirmed earlier this week that Jose Mourinho will be replacing Fonseca at the end of the season, look to force their way back into the tie.
Fonseca acknowledges that overturning a four-goal deficit is going to be extremely tough, but he is remaining optimistic.
“Clearly it is not easy to beat Manchester United by four goals – but I have seen a lot of things happen in football,” Fonseca said.
“Nothing is impossible. I believe that anything can happen. I’m expecting a tough game. Going up against Manchester United is always very difficult.
“They have a good first-leg advantage but we want to win the game. We want to fight until the very end.”
History is firmly on the side of Manchester United, having won five of their last six meetings with Roma in all competitions.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to rotate his XI with teenage wingers Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga named in the 24-man squad.