After weeks of being very shorthanded, Roma has finally begun to welcome some players back into the fold. Lorenzo Pellegrini and Javier Pastore will return to the match day squad. Meanwhile, only Alessandro Florenzi and Stephan El Shaarawy remain out injured. Kostas Manolas will also miss this one through suspension.
After Sunday’s 4-1 thumping at the hands of Napoli, there should be some changes to Ranieri’s side; just how many remains to be seen. It’s hard to get a read on just how Roma will line up for this one with three major publications each projecting a different set up. Corriere dello Sport is leaning toward a 4-3-3, Gazzetta dello Sport says 4-4-2, and Sky Sport is going with a 4-2-3-1. At te moment it seems only Ranieri truly knows how he’ll line his squad up against the Viola.
Perhaps the biggest question mark revolves around the keeper position. After another weak performance from Robin Olsen, the Swede’s position is now more in question than ever. When asked about the chances of Antonio Mirante starting, Ranieri was very coy in his pre-match press conference.
“I’ll make the call tonight after training, or I might wait until training tomorrow morning. But that doesn’t just go for Olsen, but for the whole team.”
With that in mind, don’t be surprised if the Italian gets the start. Meanwhile, three of the four positions along the back line look to be settled. Ivan Marcano and Federico Fazio should start in the middle with Manolas suspended and Aleksandar Kolarov will play on the left. The right back position looks to be a toss up between Rick Karsdorp and Davide Santon with the Italian looking like a slight favorite.
I’m going to lean toward a three man midfield for this one. However, no matter the formation that Ranieri employs, it’s likely that both Steven N’Zonzi and Bryan Cristante will start with Pellegrini just back from injury and De Rossi having played 82’ on Sunday. Meanwhile, Nicolò Zaniolo will start at the other midfield spot.
Moving to the attack, Ranieri was asked if Dzeko and Schick would both start again or if one would start on the bench. To that Ranieri was non-committal.
“Maybe – we’ll see how they are. I need to look at Dzeko, who has picked up knocks to his hip and ankle.”
With that in mind, it’s likely one of them would sit, especially in a 4-3-3. Which one sits more than likely comes down to Dzeko’s knocks. If he’s feeling good enough to start, he likely will. Otherwise it’ll be Schick leading the line. Meanwhile, Cengiz Ünder will start on the left side of attack and rounding out the XI will be Diego Perotti on the right.
ROMA (4-3-3): Mirante; Santon, Fazio, Marcano, Kolarov; Zaniolo, Nzonzi, Cristante; Ünder, Dzeko, Perotti. CT: Ranieri.
FIORENTINA (4-3-2-1): Lafont; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Vito Hugo, Biraghi; Dabo, Veretout, Benassi; Gerson, Muriel; Simeone. CT: Pioli.