After suffering through a few lean weeks, Paulo Fonseca is finally starting to face some choices when he fills out the line-up card. Just a few weeks ago, Roma were bare-bones on defense, but now Fonseca has the entire rearguard at his disposal.
Fonseca: “Gianluca Mancini is fit and available for tomorrow - as is Chris Smalling. Kumbulla is okay as well, there was no strain. We’ll see who plays tomorrow.”
With the return of Mancini and Kumbulla escaping injury, Roma will only be without three players. Bryan Cristante is out for this one due to his one-match suspension for blasphemous language. Meanwhile, long-term absentees Nicolò Zaniolo and Javier Pastore remain out.
With Cristante suspended and Pedro returning from suspension, we should see at least a few changes from Sunday’s match in Bologna. Additionally, it seems as if Karsdorp and likely Kumbulla could be rested during this busy stretch.
Fonseca: "I don't want to change too much but there's the situation with Cristante, while it's difficult for Karsdorp to play three games in a week right now too. We can't forget we have a game at the weekend as well - so I will make a few changes."— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) December 16, 2020
#ASRoma #RomaTorino pic.twitter.com/8FZbCrq5SF
With Mancini’s return, I would expect him and Roger Ibañez to flank Smalling in the back three. In net, Antonio Mirante missed out on the last match with a minor hand issue but was on the bench. Fonseca confirmed Mirante is healed in his presser, but Pau Lopez is in line for another start.
I would expect Bruno Peres to start at right wing-back after Fonseca’s comments on Karsdorp. Meanwhile, Leonardo Spinazzola should start again on the left. It seems as if Lorenzo Pellegrini should slide back into central midfield for this one alongside Jordan Veretout.
Moving forward, Pedro should regain his starting place alongside Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That pair should be in support of lone striker Edin Dzeko.