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Projected Formations: Roma v Real Madrid

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Amid injury crisis, Di Francesco has plenty of decisions to make.

Udinese v AS Roma - Serie A Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images

De Rossi out.

Pastore out.

Perotti out.

Lorenzo Pellegrini out.

Dzeko in doubt.

The list of injured players seems to grow by the day. With Real Madrid coming into the Olimpico on Tuesday, Eusebio Di Francesco will have some big decisions to make. The manager will try to fill the voids left by the absences of some of Roma’s most influential players.

With so many players out, it seems like desperate times may call for desperate measures to cover the absences. Many media outlets in Italy believe that EDF will change up the formation in order to do just that. Sky Sport is currently projecting that Roma will play a 3-4-2-1 rather than the 4-2-3-1 that has become customary this season. This change would allow EDF to cover the midfield absences of De Rossi, Pellegrini, and Pastore without throwing youngsters like Ante Coric and Nicolo Zaniolo into the fire.

The midfield is where Roma has been hit hardest by injuries, and due to this, EDF will likely get creative. Roma is likely to play four across the midfield; defenders Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksander Kolarov will push up higher in the wide midfield positions. Meanwhile, Steven N’Zonzi will be flanked by Bryan Cristante in the center of the park.

Roma will be boosted on the back end by the returns from injury of keeper Robin Olsen and defender Kostas Manolas. Olsen will return to his starting position between the sticks, after pulling out of Saturday’s match during warmups. Meanwhile, Manolas has recovered from the ankle sprain suffered while playing for Greece. He’ll be joined by fellows central defenders Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus in a three man defense.

With Lorenzo Pellegrini and Javier Patore both ruled out for EDF is unlikely to employ a trequartista and instead will play Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Ünder in support of the lone striker. Who that striker will be remains up in the air. Edin Dzeko had to pull out of training Monday, leaving him in doubt for Tuesday’s match. If Dzeko is unable to go then expect to see Patrik Schick playing as the number nine.

Projected Formations

  • Roma (3-4-2-1): Olsen; Manolas, Fazio, Juan Jesus; Florenzi, Cristante, Nzonzi, Kolarov; Ünder, El Shaarawy; Dzeko. Coach Eusebio Di Francesco
  • Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Modrić, Kroos, Isco; Lucas Vázquez, Benzema, Bale. Coach Santiago Solari