The international break wasn’t kind to Roma in terms of the injury bug that has plagued the capital all season. While away on international duty, both Alessandro Florenzi and Stephan El Sharaawy were added to Roma’s injury list without seeing a minute of game time for Italy. Lorenzo Pellegrini remains out, as well. However, in some positive news, Aleksandar Kolarov, Cengiz Ünder, Daniele De Rossi, and Kostas Manolas will all be back in the fold, albeit most of them will likely not be fit enough to play 90’.
Ranieri is again expected to employ an offensive 4-4-2 against Carlo Ancelotti’s side, who will be without Lorenzo Insigne. Starting in goal will be Robin Olsen, despite the speculation by some that he’d be benched in favor of Antonio Mirante—Ranieri confirmed this during his pre-match presser.
“No. I think Robin is an excellent goalkeeper. I was keeping tabs on him even before he joined Roma. He has my full confidence.”
On defense the big question revolves around Kostas Manolas and if he’s healthy enough to start. To that Ranieri, said,
“I have a number of players who are close to returning. Kostas will train with us today. They all want to play and show they’re available in this tough spell so that’s great news. It’s up to me to make the calls. He’s told me he wants to play but I want to assess everything carefully.”
If Manolas is ready he should start, but Ranieri doesn’t seem convinced quite yet and it’ll likely be a game-time decision. With that in mind it’s possible that Federico Fazio and Ivan Marcano will be tasked with keeping Napoli’s potent attack in check. Kolarov should be good to go on the left and Davide Santon will start on the right.
The four man midfield will have an attacking look with Nicolò Zaniolo playing wide right and Diego Perotti or Justin Kluivert on the left; Gazzetta is currently favoring Kluivert 60/40. Centering those two will be Bryan Cristante and Steven N’Zonzi; seeing that DDR is lacking fitness and Pellegrini is unavailable. Rounding out the XI will be the two forwards, Patrik Schick and Edin Dzeko.