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Roma vs Frosinone Match Preview

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With several key players out with injury, Roma, still adjusting to their new manager, welcomes 19th place Frosinone to the Olimpico. Will Roma rediscover their winning ways?

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Between the not so secret pursuit of Stephan El Shaarawy and the clandestine acquisition of Ervin Zukanovic (heretofore known as Easy E), the surprising sale of Gervinho and Roma's dogged pursuit of a buyer for Seydou Doumbia, it's been a busy week around Trigoria.

And, as if all the new faces in new places weren't enough to befuddle the most ardent supporters, the club has been forced to cope with a rash of late week injuries, all while continuing to acclimate themselves to Luciano Spalletti, who has been in town for all of three weeks.

Roma v.FrosinoneJanuary 30 20:45 CET, 14:45 EST Stadio Olimpico Roma, Italia

Not exactly a recipe for success, is it? Under normal circumstances, I'd say be thankful that we're playing Frosinone, but, well you know, Roma has a tendency to be Roma.

Whatever tomorrow may hold, we start, as always, with a quick look back at the reverse fixture.

Last Match

September 12, 2015: Roma 2, Frosinone 0

The first ever quasi Derby della Capitale went swimmingly for the Romans dressed in red. However, in true Roma fashion, they took their time, with Iago Falque and Juan Iturbe grabbing last gasp goals in the first and second halves, respectively. All in all, there wasn't much to write home about, Roma should have won, and they did; a feat which has become practically insurmountable since then.

Spalletti Shuffle

We alluded to it at the outset, but Spalletti was dealt a bit of a blow over the past 24 hours or so, as Lucas Digne, Alessandro Florenzi, Iago Falque and even Vasilis Torosidis have been deemed unfit for service. While some of those names are a greater loss than others, it means Ol' Poobah has to dig deep into his bag of tricks to come up with a cogent lineup.

Given all the missing names we just discussed, don't be surprised if Spalletti rolls out a three man backline once more. With no one beyond the newly acquired Zukanovic and the permanently forgotten Norbert Gyomber on the bench behind them, Spalletti may have no other choice than to deploy Daniele De Rossi in between Kostas Manolas and Antonio Rüdiger tomorrow evening.

Beyond that, the picture gets a bit cloudier. Without Digne and Florenzi, Spalletti is missing half of last week's midfield/wingbacks, meaning he may have to immediately hold El Shaarawy's feet to the fire. While we normally don't put too much stock into speculative lineups, given the lack of suitable options, this might actually come to fruition: (3-4-1-2: Manolas, De Rossi, Rudiger, Maicon, Pjanic, Keita, El Shaarawy, Nainggolan, Dzeko, Salah).

As far as speculative formations go, this one takes the cake, and Roma may have no other choice than to swallow that bitter pill. While the back end of that is stout enough to resist Frosinone, the forward third lacks any discernable playmaker and is spearheaded by two players (Salah and Dzeko) currently mired in the funkiest of funks.

All of which means, despite his protestations otherwise, Spalletti may have to lean on El Shaarawy to provide a spark to his new club. While Spalletti was adamant El Shaarawy would feature but not start this week, what other option is there? With a lineup devoid of linkup play and suddenly lacking speed, El Shaarawy may have to knock off the dust sooner than even he imagined.

Despite all the injuries and uncertainties, this is yet another litmus test for Roma. Can they, despite the missing names, win a match that all common sense and good reason suggests should be a walkover?

Quite honestly, I'm afraid to find out.