Prior to heading out for the holiday break, Roma was in fairly good health. However, since the Giallorossi’s victory over Cagliari prior to Christmas, the injury bug has struck Trigoria. For this one, Roma will be without three regulars: Pedro, Leonardo Spinazzola, and Antonio Mirante. Meanwhile, Spinazzola’s potential replacement, Riccardo Calafiori, and Federico Fazio were also left off of the matchday squad.
With the injuries to Pedro, Spinazzola, and Mirante, there isn’t much guesswork to do in predicting who Fonseca will field in his starting XI. With Mirante out, Pau Lopez will start in what could be his final chance to impress before the Lupi potentially dip their toes in the winter goalie market waters.
In front of Lopez, we should see Fonseca’s preferred trio of Chris Smalling, Gianluca Mancini, and Roger Ibañez. In front of that trio, we should see a midfield double pivot of Jordan Veretout and Gonzalo Villar. That’s because Pedro’s injury will push Lorenzo Pellegrini further up the pitch into the attacking midfield with Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Meanwhile, Spinazzola and Calafiori’s injuries mean Bruno Peres will be pushed to the left wing-back role. Opposite him will be Rick Karsdorp who has made the right-wing his own. Rounding out the XI will be Edin Dzeko leading the line.
The bench will be fairy short of first-team regulars for this one and the only players who may come into consideration for a start could be Max Kumbulla or Bryan Cristante.