In recent matches, José Mourinho has made it clear that he has a preferred starting XI and a couple of subs that he trusts. And he’s hammered home that point by starting the same players for Roma’s last three matches despite the team being in the midst of a tightly packed calendar. And, in the process, he’s even frozen out some of his regular first-team players after their dismal display against Bodø.
That aspect of the squad won’t change heading into this match either, as Mourinho confirmed that his squad will be the same as the trip to Cagliari in the midweek minus Cristian Volpato. That means Gonzalo Villar, Amadou Diawara, Borja Mayoral, and Bryan Reynolds will likely all be in the stands again.
Minus the frozen-out players, the rest of Roma’s squad has remained close to full strength, avoiding a major injury bug. Only Chris Smalling and Leonardo Spinazzola will miss out through injury and on the latter Roma received some encouraging news this week. But, the manager emphasized that he doesn’t want to rush anything with his star left-back.
“Spinazzola’s recovery is going well. There have been no setbacks, the experts are pleased with his progress. So it’s good news but I don’t want to put a timeframe on his return.”
In terms of the starting XI against AC Milan, there won’t be much guesswork in trying to predict who Mourinho will go with. Nevertheless, there is one position that Mourinho left shrouded in mystery: left-winger.
“I have confidence in everyone who is in my squad. Fuzato has not played yet, but I have confidence in him if and when that time comes. Whether Micki or El Sha start tomorrow, I have confidence in them both either way.”
With Mkhitaryan struggling of late, it might be in Roma’s best interest to give Il Faraone a chance from the opening whistle, given his ability to create a goal out of nothing. So, I’ll tip El Shaarawy to get to the start. However, given Mourinho’s track record, it wouldn’t surprise me if that quote was put out just to give Stefano Pioli to think about and Mkhi still starts.
Meanwhile, the rest of the XI will remain unchanged from what we’ve seen in recent weeks.
Who should Mourinho start at left winger against Milan?
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