As Roma prepares for its third match in seven days, Paulo Fonseca will again have to try to figure how to get the most out of his severely shorthand attack. With Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nicoló Zaniolo, Diego Perotti, Javier Pastore all still out injured and Edin Dzeko suspended, the Roma tactician will have little depth in attack yet again. With Gianluca Petrachi unable to secure another winger just yet, Fonseca will have to work with what little he’s got for at least one more match. This is a concern considering the manager doesn’t feel that his players have fully recovered from Sunday’s encounter in Genoa.
“We did a very short workout. The players have not recovered from the game against Genoa but we trained strategically for this game. The players are motivated and confident. Let’s see what happens tomorrow — we’re playing against a great team,” said Fonseca.
Conversely, with the return from suspension of Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov, Fonseca will have a full array of defenders at the back. That includes Federico Fazio, who has recovered after missing the weekend match. Fonseca confirmed this when commenting on his injured players.
“Only Fazio. Perotti is not ready, Pastore and Mkhitaryan neither. We hope that we can have Perotti against Lazio.”
Coming off arguably his best match as a Roma player, Pau Lopez will start in goal. He is expected to have Fonseca’s first choice defense in front of him in the form of Florenzi, Mancini, Smalling, and Kolarov. The fresh legs of Florenzi and Kolarov could be vital considering Fonseca’s comments about the players who featured against Genoa.
Meanwhile, there should be some turnover in the midfield with Cristante spelling either Veretout or Diawara for this one. The other change to Sunday’s starting XI will be at striker where Kalinic replaces the suspended Dzeko. However, with no attacking players coming back from injury, Fonseca will be forced to use the same trio of Pellegrini, Kluivert, and Ünder behind the striker.