Paulo Fonseca was very frank in his pre-match press conference on Saturday. The Portuguese tactician made it very clear that there wouldn’t be many changes to the XI. The side that we’ve seen on almost game-to-to game basis will again feature, as Roma wrap up a busy three week stretch at the Tardini on Sunday.
“We’ve had a lot of games recently, but I won’t make many changes. When the team is going well, there’s not much need to change. When you lose, you always have to reflect on that. But we have faith, we lost on Thursday but we played well,” said Fonseca.
While it is true the team has played well, there still are plenty of players that remain out due to injury; another factor that continues to force the manager’s hand. Pellegrini, Cristante, Mkhitaryan, Kalinic, and Zappacosta all remain out. However, Roma do regain Spinazzola, who missed out on Europa League action with muscle fatigue.
In his press conference, Fonseca did confirm one important piece to the puzzle by stating that Mancini will remain in the midfield for this one. Despite having Diawara back in action, Roma’s CT confirmed that he is not yet 90 minutes fit.
“Diawara isn’t yet ready to play the full 90 minutes - so Mancini will continue in midfield.”
That means Fazio and Smalling will again pair in the center of defense with Mancini holding down the double pivot alongside Veretout. The same attacking quartet of Dzeko, Zaniolo, Kluivert, and Patore is expected to remain intact. Also, expect to see the tireless Kolarov at left back. On the opposite flank, Spinazzola is expected to start over Florenzi.
Meanwhile, the Italian’s situation remains a mystery, as he has been passed over for both Spinazzola and Santon in recent weeks. When asked about Florenzi starting, Fonseca was coy with his answer, saying neither yes nor no.
“Florenzi always trains well, he’s always ready to help the side and that’s the most important thing for me. He’s doing a good job, he’s always an option for us.”
With that in mind, the publications are favoring the recuperated Spinazzola. Below is the Probable XI projected by Corriere dello Sport.