Pereira excited for Roma challenge

Ricardo Pereira admits Leicester face a tough test in trying to overcome Roma in the semi-finals of the Europa Conference League (Match betting – Leicester 5/4, Draw 21/10, Roma 21/10).

The Foxes (2/1 Europa Conference League Outright), who dropped out of the Europa League, are 180 minutes away from playing in the final of the Europa Conference League.

However, they must find a way beyond Jose Mourinho’s Roma (5/2 Europa Conference League Outright) to set up a final showdown with either Feyenoord (4/1) or Marseille (9/4) at Arena Kombetare in Tirana, Albania, on May 25th.

Thursday’s first leg is set to play out at the King Power Stadium, and Pereira feels the home support will be vital in helping them to get off on the right foot.

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Pereira said: “We’ll have to be at our best to go through, but we’ll play in front of our fans, and I’m sure it will be a nice atmosphere at the stadium.

“It will be the last game at our stadium, a European game at home. I’m sure they will be there from the first whistle, and they will help us for sure.”

Roma’s biggest threat comes in the shape of a familiar face – Tammy Abraham. The former Chelsea striker is the joint-top scorer in the competition, notching eight times, while he’s registered on 24 occasions across all competitions this term.

Pereira added: “We are all really excited with this challenge we have. It’s a new competition, and we are here now. We’re close to the end, and we’ll do our best to keep going to play for the final, of course.

“We know they have good players, they have Tammy Abraham, they have [Nicolò] Zaniolo. The midfielders play well when they have the ball; it’s an aggressive team.”

Thursday’s other semi-final first-leg tie also takes place at 20:00 when Eredivisie giants Feyenoord welcome French outfit Marseille to De Kuip (Match betting – Feyenoord 19/20, Draw 5/2, Marseille 12/5).

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Author: Paula Allen