Roma received some good news on Friday when Stephan El Shaarawy was cleared to travel with the team for Saturday’s pivotal match against Inter at the San Siro. El Shaarawy was a doubt after having a calf issue in training on Wednesday. With Il Faraone in the fold, Caludio Ranieri will have his full stable off attacking options to choose from. However, the manager’s choices will be limited at the full back positions as both Davide Santon and Rick Karsdorp remain out. Meanwhile, Roma will have to cope without arguably its most influential player, Daniele De Rossi, in the midfield.
Ranieri is again expected to employ a 4-2-3-1 formation to combat what should be the same look from the Nerazzurri. Antonio Mirante is again expected to start in goal as he seeks his third straight clean sheet. This week will see the returns to the starting XI of Aleksandar Kolarov, after his yellow card ban, and Alessandro Florenzi, who came off the bench last week after an injury layoff. Centering them will be Kostas Manolas and Federico Fazio, both of whom have played some their finest football of the season with Mirante giving the orders from net.
The midfield double pivot is perhaps the position that Ranieri will have his biggest decision to make. With De Rossi out, Ranieri must decide who will partner Bryan Cristante. The decision will likely come down to Lorenzo Pellegrini and Steven N’Zonzi with the Roman currently favored.
Edin Dzeko is expected to lead the line after scoring the match winning goal last weekend against Udinese. If Pellegrini is employed as a deep lying midfielder then Nicoló Zaniolo is expected to get the nod at trequartista. However, if Ranieri opts for N’Zonzi then Pellegrini could play higher up and Zaniolo would slide out wide. That decision could also be tied to El Shaarawy’s fitness. If he’s healthy enough to start then he should play wide left while Cengiz Ünder is expected to get the start on the right.