After fielding the exact same starting XI for consecutive matches (something almost unheard of in Romaverse), Paulo Fonseca is expected to make a handful of changes for the trip to Ferrara. One of those changes will be forced, as the man of the moment, Roger Ibañez, was forced to leave Sunday’s match with muscle discomfort. He joins an injured list that includes Antonio Mirante, Federico Fazio, and Davide Santon.
Besides Ibañez, a few other players who have played a lot of minutes recently will also be rested. Chief among them will be Amadou Diawara, who left Sunday’s match with cramps. Also expected to have the night off are Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bruno Peres. Also, don’t be surprised if a veteran like Edin Dzeko or Henrikh Mkhitaryan is spelled, even if they are currently projected to start.
With Ibañez missing out on this match and likely Sunday’s against Fiorentina, he will be replaced by the recently returned Chris Smalling in the heart of the three man defense. Flanking the Englishman will be Gianluca Mancini and Aleksandar Kolarov. That trio will defend Pau Lopez’s goal.
Moving into the midfield, Bryan Cristante will replace Diawara. He will be flanked by Jordan Veretout. With Peres expected to be rested in this one, Davide Zappacosta will get the nod at right wing back. Meanwhile with Kolarov again in the backline, Leonardo Spinazzola will play left wing back.
In the attack, Dzeko is currently projected to lead the line, but don’t be surprised to see Nikola Kalinic there. This feels like the perfect match to spell Dzeko against an opponent that Kalinic can handle. Sitting behind the striker are expected to be Mkhitaryan and Carles Perez.