Roma will play its third match in just seven days when the Giallorossi square off with Fiorentina in Florence on Wednesday. It’s a busy stretch that will remain hectic with the Europa League the following two weeks as well. So, Paulo Fonseca will have to find ways to rest players when possible, despite having some key players out injured.
On the injury front, Roma did get a bit of good news though when Fonseca announced that Chris Smalling will be called up for tomorrow’s match. Unfortunately, he won’t be starting, as he hasn’t built up his fitness enough to play 90 minutes. However, Roger Ibañez and Edin Dzeko remain the most notable absentees from tomorrow’s matchday roster.
Fonseca did say that he will look to make two to three changes for the match against the Viola from Sunday’s starting XI. However, one position we won’t see a change is at goalkeeper—Fonseca confirmed that Pau Lopez will again defend Roma’s goal.
In front of Lopez, we will see Cristante again center the back three with Smalling not ready to start. But, the tactician did announce that Max Kumbulla is ready to start and will do so tomorrow. Meanwhile, Gianluca Mancini will round out the back three.
That’s one change from Sunday, but Fonseca didn't let on what the other changes may be, though it definitely won't be at striker, where Fonseca confirmed that Borja Mayoral will start again with Dzeko out.
Normally, I would tip one of the attacking midfielders or wingers for a rest, but it’s hard to imagine Fonseca sitting Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Leonardo Spinazzola, or Rick Karsdorp in what has become a must-win match. So, could a change come in the midfield? I think it could.
Amadou Diawara could be a candidate to start this match. I’m going to tip the Guinean to start in place of Gonzalo Villar who had a rough match on Sunday. He would partner Jordan Veretout.
That would make two changes. If Fonseca opts for one more, it’d have to be one of Bruno Peres for Karsdorp or perhaps Pedro or Stephan El Shaarawy in the attacking midfield. We’ll see if Fonseca does indeed go that route. But, as mentioned earlier, don’t expect many changes.