With Roma rounding into form over the last five matches (4W, 1D) two things have changed from the pathetic opening two weeks of the restart (1W, 3L). Of course there is the shift in formation to a 3-4-2-1, which has made the last 9 matches look like a tale of two teams, but there’s also the fact that Fonseca has lessened the match-to-match personnel turnover.
The combination of those two factors has led to Roma playing some of its best football of the campaign over the last five matches, especially the last two. Gone are the early days of the restart where Fonseca would change as many as nine players from match to match. The Portuguese tactician has been much more strategic with his line-up changes of late after finding his preferred XI for the new formation.
Last match, Fonseca decided to rest three of his key men (Dzeko, Veretout, and Mkhitaryan) as Roma faced bottom dwelling SPAL with Fiorentina on the calendar just days later. Those three players will return from the opening whistle in this one. Other than that don’t expect much else to change in the XI.
Before we get to the projected XI, let’s just review the injured list. Out for this one will be reserves Davide Santon, Federico Fazio, Antonio Mirante, and Cengiz Ünder. Meanwhile, Roger Ibañez is the only regular starter to miss out on this one through injury.
With Ibañez out, the back three will again be composed of Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, and Aleksandar Kolarov. That trio will play in front of Pau Lopez.
Moving into the midfield, both Leonardo Spinazzola and Bruno Peres will again start on the wings. That duo has quickly gone from the periphery to vital cogs with the newfound need for wingbacks. Centering them will likely be Veretout and Amadou Diawara. However, there is a chance Bryan Cristante spells Diawara for this one.
Lastly in attack, Dzeko will return to lead the line. Sitting behind him will be Mkhitaryan and likely Lorenzo Pellegrini. However, with Carles Perez putting in a fine performance in Ferrara, there is a chance he replaces Pellegrini.