While it probably says more about the slow news cycle than it does the size of the story itself, over the past few days we’ve been tracking the will theys or won’t theys for Roma ahead of Wednesday’s trip to the Camp Nou—that is to say, who will make the trip and who won’t. With names like Lorenzo Pellegrini and Radja Nainggolan in danger of missing this match, we’ve been fretting for several days now how an already outgunned Roma side will mount a credible threat against Barcelona.
Welp, fret no more, the club realized the squad list for Wednesday’s first leg in the Champions League quarter finals
As you can tell from that Tweet, the good news is that Nainggolan and Pellegrini will be fit and ready for Eusebio Di Francesco, and with the name of the game likely to be choking the midfield, the more bodies EDF has at his disposal, the better.
However, the absence of Cengiz Ünder is potentially inauspicious, as the young Turk has been instrumental to Roma’s offensive revival over the past two months. Again, I’m forced to ask, how (or more aptly, why) did he play last week for Turkey against Montenegro if his fitness was in question? It’s not as if anything was at stake for Turkey, it was a friendly, so his inclusion certainly seemed to point towards a clean bill of health, but clearly Roma sees things differently.
But, if we absolutely most look at the bright side, or more to the point, the pragmatic side, this may not be that big of a deal. As many have speculated, Roma’s best chance for success Wednesday is to simply play for a draw, to channel their inner 1995 New Jersey Devils and choke the life (and fun) out of the game, harassing, hustling and bruising their way to a low scoring game, one in which they can either steal a point or potentially even a win with a hard fought goal.
In that vein, throwing Gregoire Defrel or Gerson into the mix seems plausible (though I use that word lightly) due to their superior strength and defensive acumen.
Given all that he’s meant to the club over the past two months, it’s tough to put a positive spin on Cengiz Ünder’s absence, but depending on their game plan, Roma might find a way to paper over his absence.
Alisson, Romagnoli, Skorupski, Juan Jesus, Kolarov, Capradossi, Fazio, Florenzi, Bruno Peres, Manolas, Nainggolan, Strootman, Pellegrini, De Rossi, Gonalons, Gerson, Perotti, Dzeko, Schick, Defrel, El Shaarawy