We’re all aware of the swoon that Roma have been in over the last six weeks or so. Things have seemingly gone from bad to worse on a weekly basis. Part of the reason for Roma’s disastrous spell can certainly be attributed to an injury plagued roster. While Edin Dzeko, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Stephan El Shaarawy all remain out, little by little, the injury crisis has begun to abate itself. This week Roma have recovered, perhaps, their most influential player: Daniele De Rossi. Il Capitano returns to the game day squad for the first time in nearly two months and even though he won’t start, his presence alone could provide a big boost.
EDF: "De Rossi completed a third of yesterday's training session – he’ll be in the squad, for sure. Today he’ll have his first full session. I want him with the team and he wants to be there too, whether he can play a role on the pitch tomorrow or not."— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) December 15, 2018
Roma are desperate for a win to get the season back on track and with this mind Roma, signs seem to indicate that I Lupi could be in for a tactical revolution of sorts today. After starting the season in EdF’s preferred 4-3-3, Roma have employed a 4-2-3-1 since late September. However, reports indicate that Roma could change things up again with some key personnel remaining out and their replacements not looking comfortable in the current set-up. EDF himself hinted at a three man defense in yesterday’s press conference.
EDF: "Tactical changes? Everything is possible - but really the main thing is that we find the spirit and cutting edge that we have lacked, especially against Plzen. But we train with three at the back, we train with four – so both are options tomorrow.”— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) December 15, 2018
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If EDF opts for a three man defense, expect to see Kostas Manolas, Federico Fazio, and Juan Jesus on the back line; sitting in front of Robin Olsen in goal. Meanwhile, with De Rossi not fit enough to start yet, Bryan Cristante and Steven N’Zonzi will continue to man the center of the park in front of the back line. Moving up the pitch from their rearguard positions, will be Aleksandar Kolarov and Alessandro Florenzi to create a four man midfield.
Whether Roma play a 3-4-1-2 like Corriere dello Sport believes they will, or a 3-4-3 like Sky Sport is leaning toward, the odd man out will be Patrik Schick. Schick has been extremely disappointing in Dzeko’s absence and EDF has seen enough. With his future potentially on the line, the manager has decided to go without a number 9. It seems Roma will go with Nicolo Zaniolo as either a trequartista behind Justin Kluivert and Cengiz Ünder or as a false nine being flanked by the two.
ROMA (3-4-1-2): Olsen; Fazio, Manolas, Juan Jesus; Florenzi, Cristante, Nzonzi, Kolarov; Zaniolo; Under, Kluivert. All.: Di Francesco.
GENOA (3-5-2): Radu; Biraschi, Romero, Zukanovic; Romulo, Hiljemark, Sandro, Bessa, Lazovic; Piatek, Kouame. All.: Prandelli.
ROMA (3-4-3) - Olsen; Fazio, Manolas, Juan Jesus; Florenzi, Cristante, Nzonzi, Kolarov; Under, Zaniolo, Kluivert. All.: Di Francesco.
GENOA (3-5-2) - Radu; Biraschi, Romero, Zukanovic; Romulo, Hiljemark, Sandro, Bessa, Lazovic; Kouamé, Piatek. All.: Prandelli.