Familiar foes AS Roma and CSKA Sofia butt heads again in the UEFA Conference League this week at the Stadio Olimpico. The pair faced off in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage with a goalless draw taking place in Italy before CSKA won 3-1 in Bulgaria. Roma made it to the semi-finals of that competition, whereas CSKA bowed out at the group stage despite those positive results. Roma are now under the management of Jose Mourinho, a coach with serious European pedigree, having won two Champions Leagues and two Europa Leagues. Needless to say, Mourinho would become the first coach to win all three competitions should Roma go all the way this season. And the way Roma have started the season suggests there's a real possibility of that happening. They are top of the Serie A table after three games, with a perfect record and an average goalscoring rate of three goals per game. Sticking with Mourinho, he has won all five of his previous matches against Bulgarian opposition, so he will be as confident as ever here.
CSKA won the Bulgarian Cup last season and finished third in the league table. Although they performed admirably in Rome last time out, CSKA are winless in their last six European away games, making the likelihood of a win here slim. They have failed to score in five of their last six European away games, which implies that their best hope of a result is to not concede in the first place. These are, of course, basic football principles, but sticking to them is easier said than done. We suggest backing Roma to get the victory with a clean sheet.