Roma was able to survive SPAL without its top choice center back pairing last Sunday. This Friday, Fonseca will have back at least one of his two big men at the back as Gianluca Mancini returns from yellow card suspension. Additionally, there’s optimism that Chris Smalling, initially ruled out until after the holiday break, could also return in time for the match in Florence.
With this week’s match being on a Friday, it’s a bit of a race against time to get Smalling up to speed. However, if he’s able to resume full training he should make the match day roster and possibly start. In another bit of good news, Justin Kluivert will be available for the trip to Tuscany. Meanwhile, Davide Santon, Davide Zappacosta, Antonio Mirante, Javier Pastore, and Bryan Cristante all remain our for this one.
After a solid performance against SPAL, Alessandro Florenzi looks to have the edge over Leonardo Spinazzola at right back. Opposite him on the left will be Aleksandar Kolarov. In the center will be Mancini with either Smalling or Fazio depending on the Englishman’s ability to recuperate in time. That defense will play in front of Pau Lopez in goal.
The rest of the starting XI is expected to remain unchanged from Sunday’s victory. Expect to see the omnipresent double pivot of Jordan Veretout and Amadou Diawara in midfield. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicoló Zaniolo, and Diego Perotti are expected to play behind Erin Dzeko.