As we outlined in our match preview, Roma head to Istanbul needing a win badly. The good news is that Paulo Fonseca’s group is closer than ever to getting back to full fitness— meaning he should have some options for this one. Unfortunately, Alessandro Florenzi, Javier Pastore, and Antonio Mirante will miss out with minor ailments. In addition, Bryan Cristante and Davide Zappacosta remain on the long-term injury list. Also missing on the squad list is Juan Jesus, who was also left off due to a technical decision.
Nevertheless, as you can see on the squad list for Thursday’s game, some other long-term absentees return. Both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Nikola Kalinic are back after long injury layoffs, giving Fonseca nearly a full assortment of attackers.
With Florenzi out, it should be Leonardo Spinazzola returning to start at right back after missing Sunday’s match. The rest of the defense will remain unchanged in front of Pau Lopez. The omnipresent Aleksandar Kolarov will start on the left with Roma’s reunited first choice center back partnership of Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling in the middle.
Meanwhile, the double pivot of Jordan Veretout and Amadou Diawara will again patrol the heart of the pitch. The attack will likely see one change from Sunday’s match against Brescia: Cengiz Ünder in for Justin Kluivert on the wing. The Turk should have plenty of motivation as he returns to his old stomping ground. Meanwhile, Edin Dzeko, Nicoló Zaniolo, and Lorenzo Pellegrini are all expected to remain in the starting XI.