The trainer’s room at Trigoria has seen plenty of players come through it’s doors this season. However, it’s been extra busy in recent days, at perhaps the worst possible time for EDF and Roma. In the days leading up to Tuesday’s big match at the Olimpico, the injury list has grown longer rather than shorter. With this in mind, EDF’s choices will be conditioned in many ways due to the lack of bodies in crucial positions.
Long term injury absentees, Cengiz Ünder and Diego Perotti remain out in attack. Joining them on the injured list up front is Patrik Schick, who was ruled out for two weeks on Monday with a right thigh flexor injury. Meanwhile, starting keeper Robin Olsen, who missed out on Friday’s win in Verona, remains a strong doubt for Tuesday.
EDF: "Manolas has trained with the squad and will be available tomorrow. Olsen is still a doubt - we'll look at him again tomorrow morning. No-one else is back - while Schick will also miss the game with a muscle problem."— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) February 11, 2019
#ASRoma #UCL #RomaPorto
Additionally, Rick Karsdorp, who in recent weeks had established himself as EDF’s first choice right back, pulled out of Monday’s training with muscle discomfort. Odds are he’ll be unavailable Tuesday, as well.
With Olsen a heavy doubt, it’s likely that Antonio Mirante will man the Roma net for the second straight match. The back line will receive a big boost with the return of Kostas Manolas, who missed out on Friday’s victory. Partnering Manolas will be Federico Fazio, whose height will be essential against a Porto side that’s dangerous in the air. Aleksander Kolarov will look to put his recent controversy with the supporters behind him with a strong performance on the left. Filling out the back line will likely be Alessandro Florenzi with Karsdorp likely missing out.
EDF is likely to employ his preferred 4-3-3 formation again. With this in mind there’s only room for one holding midfielder, meaning Steven N’Zonzi will make his way to the bench; Daniele De Rossi will sit in front of the back four. Flanking De Rossi will be fellow Italians Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante.
Up front is where EDF’s choices will be most limited with Ünder, Perotti, and Schick all on the shelf. Edin Dzeko who looks to be regaining his top form will lead the line. Dzeko will be flanked by Stephan El Shaarawy, who is in fine form himself, on the left. On the right, it looks like Nicolò Zaniolo will be employed as an impromptu winger in place of the injured Ünder. It’s not his natural position, but EDF will be creative to get his young burgeoning star onto the field.
Roma (4-3-3): Mirante; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Cristante, De Rossi, Lo.Pellegrini; Zaniolo, Dzeko, El Shaarawy. Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Doubtful: Olsen (knee), Karsdorp
Unavailable: Diego Perotti (calf), Ünder (quadriceps), Schick (right thigh flexor)
Porto (4-3-3): Casillas; Maxi Pereira, Felipe Augusto, Militão, Alex Telles; H.Herrera, Danilo Pereira, Óliver Torres; Adrián López, Tiquinho Soares, Brahimi. Manager: Sérgio Conceição
Unavailable: Marega (thigh strain), Aboubakar (cruciate ligament)
Disqualified: Corona (one match)
Referee: Danny Makkelie (Holland)