After surviving Thursday’s Europa League match up against Cluj with a barebones defense, it looks like Roma won’t be quite so short handed against Napoli. In his press conference Paulo Fonseca confirmed the availability of Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibañez in defense. However, he made no mention of Chris Smalling. Additionally, he confirmed that Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edin Dzeko are back to full fitness after bouts with COVID-19.
With the returns of Pellegrini, Ibañez, Fazio, and Santon, only Max Kumbulla remains positive for the virus. However, neither Fazio nor Santon will travel with the squad. In addition to Kumbulla, Santon, and Fazio, Roma will be without Smalling and long term absentees Nicoló Zaniolo and Javier Pastore.
If Mancini and Ibañez are given the green light to start against the Partenopei, then Fonseca’s biggest decision will likely be who starts in between them in the back three. After filling the role the last two matches without conceding a goal, Bryan Cristante should be favored. Meanwhile, Antonio Mirante will return to net after getting the EL match off.
Moving into the midfield, Pellegrini’s return means he will partner Jordan Veretout in the central midfield. Flanking them on the wings will be Leonardo Spinazzola and Rick Karsdorp.
Lastly, Dzeko will be leading the attack. He will be supported by Pedro and Roma’s MVP up to this point Henrikh Mkhitaryan.