It feels like we may finally be reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. After suffering through roughly a month without some of its big guns, Roma is finally starting to welcome back some of the cavalry. Edin Dzeko returned over the weekend to see his first minutes in three weeks against Juve. Meanwhile, the potential is there for the returns of some, if it not all of the remaining absentees between the two remaining fixtures of 218; Sassuolo on Wednesday and Parma on Saturday.
Di Francesco only mentioned Lorenzo Pellegrini when speaking to the press saying, “We are looking at Pellegrini but I think it is probably more likely he will back for the Parma game. Now it is important he gets back to match fitness.”
The return of Stephan El Shaarawy for Wednesday’s match will certainly be a welcome sight for wary Romanisti eyes. However, Pellegrini and Daniele De Rossi remain out
It’s likely that EDF will stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation that has become a staple for Roma over the last three months. But the tactician has ventured in other directions in recent weeks, using a 3-4-3 against Genoa and starting the Juve match with a 5-3-2.
No matter the formation, Robin Olsen will protect the Roma goal. The Swede erased any doubts that he created against the Grifoni by putting in a performance that would make Alisson blush against the league leaders. In front of Olsen will be a four man back line composed of Alessandro Florenzi, Kostas Manolas, Federico Fazio, and Aleksandar Kolarov from right to left.
With De Rossi remaining out of the starting XI, the midfield double pivot will again be comprised of Steven N’Zonzi and Bryan Cristante; with the latter looking more and more comfortable in the deep lying role, EDF may have a tough in decision to make when choosing a partner for De Rossi, upon his return. In front of the double pivot will be the attacking trio of Cengiz Ünder, Nicolo Zaniolo, and Diego Perotti. If Perotti is tabbed to start, it would only be the injury riddled Argentine’s second of the season and first since late September against Bologna.
Leading the Roma attack will be Edin Dzeko, who is favored to start over Patrik Schick. When asked about Dzeko going from the start, Di Francesco replied with the following during his pre-match presser:
“It was a bit of a risk to bring Dzeko on in Turin after just one training session – he hadn’t done much work out on the pitch. We need to evaluate him closely, between today and tomorrow we will have a lot at whether he is able to start or play a role off the bench again. I will speak to him as well, how he feels will be important.”
Schick has attempted to lead the line over the last month or so in Dzeko’s absence, but the Roma attack has been rather sterile with the young Czech as its focal point. If he’s ready to start, Dzeko will be desperate to get on the scoresheet and kick start what has been a disappointing domestic campaign thus far for the Big Bosnian.