José Mourinho's first competitive match in charge of Roma isn't coming against Lazio, Juventus, Inter Milan, or any of the Giallorossi's other great rivals. Rather than whetting his competitive appetite against a traditional Italian foe, The Special One's first official match in charge of Roma comes in UEFA's newest continental competition, the Europa Conference League.
The third-tier of European football takes its inaugural steps today with 22 qualification matches kicking off a 9 A.M. eastern time with Shakhter Karagandy taking on Maccabi Tel Aviv before wrapping up the day with a 4:30 P.M. fixture between Santa Clara and Partizan Belgrade.
The 22 winners of these qualification matches, which are contested over two legs, will advance to the Europa Conference League group stages where they'll be joined by an additional 10 clubs that were eliminated from the Europa League playoff rounds. The important thing to note about this new competition is that no club qualifies directly to the ECL group stages, so don't fret about Roma somehow being on the lowest rung of the ladder.
The winner of the ECL, whose final will be held on May 25th in Tirana, Albania, will qualify for the following season's Europa League, provided they haven't already qualified for the Champions League via the league route.
Now that we have the formalities out of the way, let's get down to business. The lineups are in, and yes, there are some familiar faces in the Trabzonspor lineup.
️ Roma Maçı #Kadromuz: Uğurcan, Peres, Edgar IE, Vitor Hugo, İsmail, Berat, Marek Hamsik, Nwakaeme, Bakasetas, Gervinho, Djaniny#Yedekler; Erce, Hüseyin, Ahmetcan, Trondsen, Serkan, Yunus, A. Parmak, A. Ömür, Murat Cem, Yusuf, Cornelius, Koita pic.twitter.com/Jpuyh38qUG— Trabzonspor (@Trabzonspor) August 19, 2021
Ecco la nostra formazione per #TSRoma— AS Roma (@OfficialASRoma) August 19, 2021
DAJE ROMA! ⬜️ #ASRoma #UECL pic.twitter.com/RI5osJCZMX
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