Earlier in the week we reported on Roma’s growing injury list. The growing list has left EDFwith plenty of question marks with Saturday’s match against Fiorentina coming up quickly. However, the team received a boost with the returns of Justin Kluivert and Javier Pastore to full training on Thursday. Neither is expected to start, but both could provide spark in attack off the bench.
Additionally, it appears that Kostas Manolas will recover in time to be a full participant at the Artemio Franchi. On the flip side, Roma will likely be without Daniele De Rossi, as the club hopes a few extra days of rest will have him ready for Tuesday’s trip to Moscow. Meanwhile, Diego Perotti, Rick Karsdorp, and Luca Pellegrini will all be absent for the trip to Tuscany.
With the absence of De Rossi many Italian news outlets are anticipating EDF reverting back to a 4-3-3 for Saturday’s match. The 4-2-3-1 has provided much needed tactical stability for Roma since EDF made the formation change. However, Roma seem to lack a suitable replacement for De Rossi in a two man midfield alongside Steven N’Zonzi. Bryan Cristante isn’t natural in that role, and for that reason the Italian tactician may go back to a three man midfield. This would mean Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini playing the mezz’ala roles; flanking N’Zonzi. The drawback to this is that Pellegrini, who has excelled playing a trequartista role over the last month or so, would have to drop a bit further back in the midfield.
With Manolas fit to return after leaving Sunday’s match early, he will likely pair with Federico Fazio in the heart of the defense. They will sit in front Robin Olsen and be flanked by Aleksander Kolarov and Davide Santon. Santon is currently a slight favorite to start over Alessandro Florenzi at right back again. However, there is a possibility that Florenzi could start higher up the pitch if Santon starts in defense.
Edin Dzeko will lead the line no matter the formation that EDF chooses to go with. Stephan El Shaarawy who has been in form and potentially in line for a contract renewal will start on the left. However, the right side of attack is a little more up in the air with Gazzetta dello Sport favoring Cengiz Ünder and Corriere dello Sport favoring Florenzi. Florenzi seems to be the undecided variable that could alter the starting XI slightly heading into Saturday.