If you’re a fan of heavy turnover, especially during midweek trips to relegation sides, and with a big match looming on the weekend, then you’re probably pulling your hair out. That’s because, after last week’s brutal defeat at the hands of Bodø, turnover is no longer in José Mourinho’s lingo. In fact, after Sunday’s encouraging draw against Napoli, he made it pretty clear that he will be starting the same XI that he fielded against the Partenopei and Bianconeri on consecutive weekends.
That XI is certainly Roma’s best at the moment and he has made a habit of starting them week in and week out. However, this time around, there are some risks we hope Jose considered before brazenly declaring his starting XI days in advance.
First and foremost would be the health of his two young attacking stars: Tammy Abraham and Nicolo Zaniolo. Abraham gritted his way through 85 minutes on Sunday and Zaniolo exited a week earlier after just 25 minutes. More conservative managers would err on the side of caution at Cagliari with Milan looming on Sunday, but it doesn’t seem like Mourinho will.
Additionally, Bryan Cristante is one yellow card shy of a one-match suspension. Yet, it looks like Mourinho won’t protect his key midfielder. Let’s hope the Special One isn’t playing with fire with those three players.
In other notable line-up news, Mourinho continues to hammer home the point that certain players weren’t up to take against Bodø by leaving them home for this match. It was reported yesterday that Max Kumbulla will be back with the squad after being sent to the stands on Sunday.
Prosegue la linea dura di #Mourinho. Per la gara contro il Cagliari è stato convocato #Kumbulla, ma restano a Roma gli altri ‘epurati’.— Jacopo Aliprandi (@AliprandiJacopo) October 26, 2021
Fuori #Villar, #Diawara, #Reynolds e Borja #Mayoral. ❌
Info ➡️ https://t.co/EyowqaWJJu#ASRoma #CagliariRoma pic.twitter.com/niSBtdHIiu
Conversely, Borja Mayoral, Amadou Diawara, Gonzalo Villar, and Bryan Reynolds will again not be part of the matchday squad. It’ll be interesting to see where that story heads just two months out from the transfer market opening.
With all that in mind, the Roma line-up should be as follows unless Mourinho throws a last-minute curveball our way.