Eusebio Di Francesco will continue to have limited choices at a handful of positions due to injuries when Bologna comes to town on Monday. The Giallorossi welcome keeper Robin Olsen back to the mix, but are still without Rick Karsdorp, Patrik Schick, and Cengiz Ünder.
After missing out on Roma’s last two matches, including Tuesday’s Champions League match, Robin Olsen returns between the sticks for Roma. With Olsen’s return, veteran Antonio Mirante will return to the bench. Meanwhile, on defense it seems like EDF is leaving his options open.
EDF: "Juan Jesus is ready again. Marcano too, he's been improving and done well in training too. I haven't made up my mind on the defence just yet. Florenzi won't play higher up tomorrow though - it'll be either him or Karsdorp at right-back."— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) February 17, 2019
#ASRoma #RomaBologna pic.twitter.com/tvC7EoAhLX
EDF stated during Sunday’s presser that Juan Jesus and Ivan Marcano are ready to go if needed. However, all projections seem to favor a pairing of Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio in the heart of the Roma defense. With Karsdorp being ruled out later in the day, it seems like Alessandro Florenzi is a given to start at right back. Meanwhile, Aleksander Kolarov will start on the left.
EDF looks like he’ll continue with the 4-3-3, which has been fairly successful for the Giallorossi, since they’ve returned to it in recent weeks. How that three man midfield lines up could depend a lot on the aging legs of Daniele De Rossi. When asked how he’ll manage De Rossi, he responded with the following,
“It’s a day-to-day issue. He trained separately yesterday but that was planned. He’ll train with the team today and he could be involved tomorrow, but I’ll make the call based on how the squad is and the run-in from now until the end of the season.”
With that in mind it seems like DDR could be in turn for a rest after playing 90 minutes against Porto on Wednesday. However, it can’t be entirely ruled out that he won’t start either. At this point Steven N’Zonzi seems to have a slight edge to start in the holding role. If that’s the case he’ll be flanked by Bryan Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini.
With Ünder and Schick both out and Stephan El Shaarway a doubt after picking up a knock yesterday, Roma have a shortage of traditional attacking options. This led to the question of if Nicolò Zaniolo would start again at right wing.
“I certainly have to consider him for that position. I don’t have many forwards available. [Stephan] El Shaarawy is a doubt after picking up a knock yesterday, so we’ll have to look at him. Cengiz [Under] and Patrik [Schick] are both out, so we only have four forwards available and that means that Zaniolo could play in that position again tomorrow.”
EDF was coy about the topic, but it seems like Zaniolo will again man the right wing, where he gave Porto fits on Tuesday. With El Shaarawy a doubt, it looks like Justin Kluivert could get his first start in some time on the left wing. Kluivert was said to be in the coaches doghouse in recent weeks and EDF addressed Kluivert’s struggle to get playing time.
“Kluivert has come from a different league and highs and lows are part of the process of growth. Sometimes he gives too much importance to what he hears about himself and on social media, for example. The most important things to listen to are said here at Trigoria and mainly by the coach. Justin is training really well right now – he’s focused. He’s changed the way he goes about his training and that’s a positive.”
Leading the line between the two nineteen year olds will be Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian has seemed to regain his form since the start of the new year and will look to turn in another man of the match worthy performance up top.
Roma (4-3-3): Olsen; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; Cristante, Nzonzi, Pellegrini; Zaniolo, Dzeko, Kluivert. Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco.
Bologna (4-2-3-1): Skorupski; Mbaye, Danilo, Gonzalez, Dijks; Poli, Pulgar; Edera, Soriano, Sansone; Santander. Manager: Sinisa Mihajlovic.