As Roma looks to bounce back from probably its worst performance of the season, Paulo Fonseca will be forced into a major change in his formation. During the course of last week’s debacle at Sassuolo, Lorenzo Pellegrini received a second yellow and consequently a red card. With that the Roman will be suspended for Friday’s match against Bologna at the Olimpico. Pellergini’s absence leaves the biggest question mark hanging over Roma’s starting XI against the Rossoblu.
Also, missing out on this one through injury will be the usual trio of long term absentees: Zaniolo, Diawara, and Zappacosta. But in a bit a good news Henrikh Mhkatarian is expected to be available against Bologna. That should help ease the burden of Pellegrini’s absence.
In addition to Pellegrini, there could be one more change to the XI. After last week’s defensive disaster Aleksandar Kolarov is a slight favorite to replace Davide Santon in the back. That change would mean Kolarov playing on the left and Leonardo Spinazzola sliding over to the right. Meanwhile, Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling are expected to retain their starting places in front of Pau Lopez.
Other than that Fonseca isn’t expected to make any other performance related changes from last week’s lineup; mostly due to lack of suitable options. With that in mind expect Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout to play the midfield double pivot.
Edin Dzeko will again lead the attack. Flanking him will be Justin Kluivert and Cengiz Ünder. Meanwhile, it looks to be a three horse race to take Pellegrini’s place as the #10. Gazzetta dello Sport correctly has Diego Perotti as the favorite to start, but Fonseca listed some other options in his presser.
“Pastore isn’t fit enough to start the game. We have options to replace Pellegrini - there’s Mkhitaryan and Kluivert, who can play in that position, plus Perotti.”
With that in mind here is the current projected XI from Gazzetta dello Sport.
Of the 3 options listed by Fonseca, who do you prefer at trequartista?
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