Kostas Manolas returned to training on Sunday after missing the last two weeks with a quadriceps injury. The Greek returns after being injured in the defeat to Napoli on October 14. Initial reports suggested that he would miss about three weeks. However, Manolas has made it back in two and now should be ready for Chelsea on Tuesday.
The question then becomes: Just how ready is he?
Manolas was back in full training but training doesn’t always equate to game fitness. Being a center back Manolas doesn’t need quite as much running in his legs as Roma’s midfielders or forwards. However, he’s a defender who relies on his speed to close down attackers and goes to ground often when challenging opponents. That means bringing him back against an opponent of Chelsea’s quality could lead to issues if his timing is at all off.
On the other hand, Manolas is without question Roma’s most well rounded defender. If his quadriceps is fully healed his speed makes him an asset against a team like Chelsea which boasts players like Morata, Hazard, and Pedro, among others in attack. He can match up physically against the English side, as well, with his strength and generally reads the game well. Pairing a healthy Manolas with Federico Fazio probably gives the Giallorossi their best chance to win against a team like Chelsea who mix speed with physicality.
After giving up three goals against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge without Manolas; one would think that if he’s 100% ready to go then he’ll start Tuesday at the Olimpico. The ultimate decision will be Di Francesco’s and we will know soon enough what he decides.
Which center back pairing would you start vs Chelsea if Manolas is 100% fit?
This poll is closed
Manolas & Fazio
Fazio & Juan Jesus
Manolas & Juan Jesus