2021/22 UEFA Europa Conference League final: Where Roma vs Feyenoord could be won and lost
Wednesday, 25 May 2022
UEFA.com analyses each side's strengths and weaknesses ahead of the showpiece in Tirana.
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As we gear up for the inaugural Europa Conference League final, UEFA.com reporters Vieri Capretta and Derek Brookman consider four key factors that could decide who claims the trophy.
Roma's instant impact
The Giallorossi’s two best performances of the season followed a similar pattern: an early goal followed by quick, vertical football to hit their opponents on the break, while remaining solid at the back. The semi-final win over Leicester went exactly this way, as did the Serie A derby match against Lazio in March, where Roma scored three goals in the first 45 minutes.
José Mourinho loves this kind of approach, so we can expect Roma to power forward from the start, hoping to break the deadlock early, and play the match their way.
Creativity, mentality, rhythm
Roma sometimes lack ideas and pace down the middle when going forward, and with several players similar in style, they might not possess the spark needed to turn things around. If Feyenoord manage to stave off their early advances, the Giallorossi may just lose focus and struggle to keep pace for the full 90 minutes.
Roma's three-man defence means they could be exposed on the wings, and if their wing-backs are required to drop back to defend, that might create further problems.
Vieri Capretta, Roma reporter
Will Bijlow be ready?
If Justin Bijlow is declared fit enough to start, it would be a huge boost for Arne Slot’s side. The born-and-bred Rotterdammer, who has established himself as first-choice keeper for Oranje, is an excellent shot-stopper and also distributes the ball wisely.
Feyenoord's speed at the back
Feyenoord’s central defensive pairing of Gernot Trauner and Marco Senesi are strong on the ground and good in the air, but not lightning-fast. Quick balls in behind could cause problems. However, if given too much space, they themselves will look to launch long passes over the Roma defence for the Feyenoord strikers or overlapping backs to run onto.
Derek Brookman, Feyenoord reporter