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Reports: Zaniolo May Start Against Madrid

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Roma’s projected XI against Real Madrid includes the 19 year-old.

Italy Training Session And Press Conference Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Just a few weeks ago, 19 year old Nicolo Zaniolo became just the fourth player to get called up for the Italian national team without having debuted in Serie A. Zaniolo still hasn’t played in a Serie A match or any official senior team match for Roma. However, according to reports, he will be a surprise inclusion in Eusebio Di Francesco’s starting XI on Wednesday.

Corriere dello Sport report that it is all but confirmed that Zaniolo’s Roma debut will come on the biggest of stages, the Santiago Bernabéu, when the Giallorossi open their 2018-19 Champions League campaign on Wednesday. Zaniolo, who arrived as part of the Radja Nainggolan move to Inter, has earned the start over fellow Italian internationals and Saturday starters, Bryan Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini. He will join Captain Daniele De Rossi and Steven N’Zonzi in a three man midfield.

There is one other change to Roma’s starting XI versus Chievo. Federico Fazio will return to his usual centerback spot replacing Juan Jesus. Meanwhile Robin Olsen will remain in goal, while Kolarov, Manolas, and Florenzi round out the four man back line. In attack, Saturday goalscorer Sephan El Shaarawy gets the nod over Deigo Perotti on the left. Lastly, Dzeko starts in the middle with Ünder to his right completing the trident.

Corriere dello Sport