Roma will again be without some key players when the second half of the Serie A season kicks off on Saturday. Despite reported progress, Captain Daniele De Rossi remains out with his problematic knee. Meanwhile, Juan Jesus and Diego Perotti were added to that list during Monday’s Coppa Italia match. Back up keeper Antonio Mirante also looks to be an absentee on Saturday.
EDF: "Manolas will be back and ready, assuming he comes through training fine today. Florenzi has been ill and is not at his best right now. Mirante, De Rossi, Perotti and Juan Jesus are all unavailable tomorrow."— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) January 18, 2019
Despite those absences, Roma will receive a big boost from players who were out on Monday. Alessandro Florenzi and Stephan El Shaarawy, who both missed out with flu-like symptoms return, as does Kostas Manolas after recovering from the leg injury suffered against Parma. However, Florenzi is still not at his best according to EDF, so it’s unlikey he starts. The same probably goes for Steven N’Zonzi and his fractured toe.
Robin Olsen will assume his usual place defending Roma’s goal on Saturday. Manolas’ return comes at the perfect time for Roma after JJ picked up his injury. Manolas will partner Federico Fazio in the center of the Roma rearguard. With Florenzi still not at his best, they will like be flanked by Rick Karsdorp and Alekansander “no days off” Kolarov.
With DDR still injured and N’Zonzi not in tip-tip shape, EDF’s options are likely limited in the midfield. Therefore, expect to see the same double pivot, featuring Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante, that played the Coppa match. In front of them, Nicolo Zaniolo looks poised to return to the trequartista position after Javier Pastore started Monday.
EDF: "Kluivert is in better shape than El Shaarawy right now, so he's more likely to get the nod tomorrow. Nzonzi will train with the squad today, for the first time since his foot problem. So I will need to assess his condition."— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) January 18, 2019
In attack, Justin Kluivert is expected to start on the left wing and Cengiz Under will again start on the right. The center forward position will likely pose EDF with his most difficult choice. Does he ride the hot hand, after Patrik Schick scored twice against Entella, or does he give Edin Dzeko a start? Based on the pre-match presser, it looks like Dzeko is favored to get the nod.
EDF: "Between Dzeko and Schick, I still have to decide who will start. Edin is perhaps slightly ahead right now - but we'll see. He's still getting up to full speed. But I'm happy to have two good options, especially given the way Patrik has been playing."#ASRoma #RomaTorino pic.twitter.com/0YSUiVodEQ— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) January 18, 2019
Roma (4-2-3-1): Olsen, Karsdorp, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov, Cristante, Pellegrini, Kluivert, Zaniolo, Ünder, Dzeko