With the Rome Derby just a week away, it could be easy to overlook this Saturday’s regional derby with relegation battling Frosinone. However, with Roma fighting for it’s life to remain in the Champions League race, Eusebio Di Francesco recognizes that his team must focus on the here and now. EDF acknowledged the danger of overlooking bottom feeder teams and saying in his presser, “The most important match for us is the next one, against Frosinone.”
With that in mind, EDF won’t have the luxury of saving all of his four players a yellow card away from suspension against Lazio next week.
That list includes starting center back pairing, Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio, right back Alessandro Florenzi, and wunderkind Nicolò Zaniolo. However, EDF did admit that Zaniolo who has played a lot of late is likely a candidate to be rested.
“He may be rested but I don’t want to show my hand just yet. He’s played an awful lot for someone of his age and at a high intensity. He’s produced some great performances but we can’t have him play every game. He could start on the bench tomorrow.”
Roma should have enough going forward to afford Zaniolo the rest and have him available and reposed for the upcoming Lazio and Porto matches. Roma does have three players officially unavailable for tomorrow’s match due to injury, on top of the aforementioned players who may be rested to avoid suspension. The injured list includes Rick Karsdorp, Patrik Schick, and Cengiz Ünder, who isn’t ready to return quite yet.
EDF was coy in his presser, trying not tip Roma’s hand, saying that the Giallorossi may replicate Frosinone’s 3-5-2 formation with their own. However, none of the projected formations from around the peninsula seem to buy EDF’s story. Both Corriere dello Sport and Giazzetta dello Sport are leaning toward a 4-3-3 from Roma, so that’s what we’ll go with.
Last match’s Man of the Match, Robin Olsen, will retain his starting place between the sticks. In front of Olsen will be a four man defense anchored by Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus in the middle. It looks like Manolas will sit to avoid a costly yellow. Also, likely being rested is Alessandro Florenzi, who has come under criticism for his recent performances, with Davide Santon starting on the right. Rounding out the defense will be Roma’s version of an iron man, Aleksandar Kolarov, on the left.
EDF did confirm that Captain Daniele De Rossi will patrol the middle of the field. Likely flanking him will be fellow Italians Bryan Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini.
“He’ll definitely be in the starting line-up tomorrow. He didn’t train yesterday but he’ll work with the lads today and he’ll captain the side tomorrow.”
Up front Edin Dzeko will again lead the line. However, there is some competition for the two starting wing spots. With Deigo Perotti back to full fitness, EDF did indicate it’s a three man battle for two spots.
Currently, both Gazzetta and CdS have Kluivert starting on the right. CdS seems to favor El Shaarawy on the left, while Gazzetta is favoring Perotti. That seems to be the one discrepancy in the starting XI between the two publications.