When the 2017/18 Champions League betting got underway, neither of these teams would’ve assumed they’d get as far as they have. Yet both will now have high hopes of reaching the final. Liverpool were priced at 12/1 with top football bookmakers to reach the final back in September, yet now they’re the favourites to do so.
Roma are the outsiders in the last four, but they were available at 70/1 to make it to Kiev after they’d opened their campaign with a 0-0 home draw. The teams have navigated the Champions League in very different ways. Liverpool are the top scoring team – Salah and Firmino alone have scored more goals between them than Roma – but they had a reasonably easy route until the quarter-finals.
Roma have already had to deal with Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Barcelona, so have had it far tougher. The bedrock of their success has been not conceding a single goal at home, and in the knockout rounds their ability to score away goals in the first leg has ultimately seen them through both times.
But how is this match going to play out? These teams have only met five times in their history, and not for 16 years, so there’s no recent record we can call upon. However, recent competition history suggests Liverpool will win. In the 28 semi-final first legs over the past 14 seasons, the home side has won 17 times.
There have been seven draws, and just four away wins, with the most recent of those last season when Juventus won 2-0 at Monaco. Not that Roma need to win, as they’ve shown in the last two rounds, though they would probably need an away goal. However, the home side conceding is relatively rare at this level, with only 11 occasions in those last 28 first legs.
Liverpool haven’t conceded any in their last four Champions League matches at Anfield either. Does that suggest a ‘no’ bet in the both teams to score market? It’s a very tough one to call, as Roma have scored in four of their five away matches in the competition, but Liverpool have recorded the most clean sheets of the teams in the last four.
Roma deserved to score in those four games on the road as well, as their shots were worth well over one expected goal in total every time. They had three clear-cut chances in three of the games for good measure too, so they should have opportunities to score at Anfield. As even Qarabag scored against Roma at home, I suggest going with ‘yes’ in both teams to score. It’s priced at 8/13 with Black Type.
When Eusebio Di Francesco’s side have scored away from home in the 2017/18 Champions League, there have always been over 2.5 goals in total too. This has also been the case in four of the Reds’ five home games too, and the only exception was the tepid 0-0 with Porto which was effectively a dead rubber.
It seems safe to say we can expect plenty of action here, so go for over 2.5 goals with 888 Sport at 4/7. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of at least four goals either, and the same firm offer 6/4 for there to be over 3.5 goals. When it comes to the goal scorer markets, Liverpool’s duo of Firmino and Salah have near identical records in the competition this season.
Both have scored eight goals, with five in the first half. They have both opened the scoring twice and finished the scoring once. However, their one difference is hugely relevant here; Salah has scored half of his eight at Anfield, whereas Firmino bagged six of his on the road. For that reason alone, the former Roma man looks the choice here, as he looks to score against his former club. Ladbrokes price Salah at 5/2 to open the scoring, or 7/10 to score at any time.
For Roma, their most consistent goal threat this season has undoubtedly been Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian striker has scored 20 goals in league and Europe in 2017/18, and is the only Roma player with more than six goals in Serie A or over two in the Champions League, making Dzeko the clear threat to score.
Like Firmino and Salah, Dzeko has scored two opening goals in the competition this season, and perhaps crucially for this match, four of his six goals have been away from the Stadio Olimpico. He is the obvious choice to back on I Giallorossi’s side of the scorer market, and is available at 19/10 to score with Ladbrokes.
This looks like a match where both teams will score but the home team will prevail, so consider a bet on that outcome at odds of 15/8 with BetBright. If you prefer a straight bet on Liverpool to win, Matchbook's odds for that eventuality are 8/15.