The Giallorossi are in the midst of a busy stretch of matches, which sees them playing midweek for three consecutive weeks. After Europa League action last Thursday, Roma has another midweek affair. This time the Giallorossi host Atalanta at the Olimpico on Wednesday, as they seek their fourth straight victory in all competitions.
The heavy workload would seem to necessitate some turnover to keep players fresh. Nonetheless, with a trip to Lecce on Sunday, Fonseca will likely play his stronger line-up against Atalanta. Therefore, don’t expect wholesale changes, despite a quick turnaround.
The injured list remains fairly short for Roma: Cengiz Ünder, Diego Perotti, and Davide Zappacosta remain our with various ailments. However, Paulo Fonseca will also be without Gianluca Mancini due to the defender being red carded against Bologna on Sunday.
With Mancini suspended, a change in defense will be inevitable against the bergamaschi. Chris Smalling is coming off of injury and likely not match fit, so expect to see Juan Jesus pairing Federico Fazio in the center of defense. The fullbacks should remain unchanged with Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov again starting. However, keep an eye on Leonardo Spinazzola, who could push for a starting spot; more likely on the right for Florenzi. Gazzetta dello Sport currently favors Florenzi at 60/40.
The midfield double pivot will remain unchanged from the last two Serie A fixtures. Jordan Veretout will get his third consecutive league start after solidifying the center of the park. Alongside him will be Bryan Cristante, who has started every Serie A match in that role.
Edin Dzeko, who remains in fine form, will again lead the attack as the lone striker. Expect Lorenzo Pellegrini to take on the trequartista role for the third straight match with Henrikh Mkhitaryan again flanking him on the left. Meanwhile, the only unforced change for this one looks to be Nicolò Zaniolo getting the nod over Justin Kluivert at right wing.
Update: Fonseca confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Smalling is ready to go and will play. Expect him to flank Fazio rather than Juan Jesus.