Now that Roma is out of the Europa League and barring a minor miracle finishing no higher than seventh on the table, there isn’t much left to play for this season. Paulo Fonseca is on the way out and all eyes are on the summer mercato as Roma looks to build a side in José Mourinho’s image.
Nevertheless, in spite of all of that, there is still a reason to watch the last few matches of this season, starting with Crotone tomorrow: several Roma Primavera players may make their first-team debuts, or in the case of Ebrima Darboe, make his first Roma start.
That’s something that Paulo Fonseca confirmed in today’s pre-match press conference. Fonseca wouldn’t give an indication on any other youngsters that could debut for his injury-depleted side when it hosts last-place Crotone on Mother’s Day though.
“Others have played games as well, like Filippo Tripi and Tommaso Milanese. The Primavera have a number of players who are working hard, who have trained with the first team and have the chance to reach that level. But it would be unfair of me to single out a specific name. The Primavera has a number of players well-prepared for the first-team.”
Speaking of injuries, Fonseca conceded that he doesn’t expect to have back any of Roma’s long list of injured players.
“I don’t think we will have any back for this one. But I hope to have two or three back for the game against Inter Milan.”
If that is indeed the case then the Giallorossi will be without Jordan Veretout, Leonardo Spinazzola, Pau Lopez, Stephan El Sharawy, Riccardo Calafiori, Chris Smalling, Carles Perez, Gonzalo Villar, Amadou Diawara and Nicolò Zaniolo. Meanwhile, Gianluca Mancini misses out through yellow card suspension.
Roma shifted to a four-man backline against Manchester United on Thursday, and a similar set-up could be in the cards for this one considering all of the absences in the midfield. If that is the case then the backline will likely be constituted of Marash Kumbulla and Roger Ibañez in the center with Rick Karsdorp and Davide Santon flanking them. Meanwhile, Daniel Fuzato could get another look between the sticks.
With Darboe confirmed to start, it’ll be the youngster pairing with Bryan Cristante in the central midfield. Moving forward it’ll likely be Borja Mayoral leading the line with Pedro, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Lorenzo Pellegrini playing in support.