While those of us in the Northeastern United States hope that Hurricane Henri packs less of a punch than Theirry Henry in his prime, Roma is busy gearing up for the first Serie A match of the José Mourinho era. Heading into what is actually Roma’s second competitive match in 72 hours, we should have a solid understanding of what the starting XI should look like.
Absent for this one will only be Leonardo Spinazzola and Chris Smalling. Meanwhile, Tammy Abraham will don the Roma shirt for the first time since his arrival from Chelsea. Though because of his lack of time with the team thus far, he’s expected to start on the bench.
Mourinho: "Abraham will be in the squad tomorrow. He's been training on his own, because those are the rules at the moment.— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 21, 2021
"He's had pre-season at Chelsea, but it's been a busy week for him with travel and everything else. But he'll be there tomorrow."#ASRoma #RomaFiorentina pic.twitter.com/shHkB9hieX
With Smalling out injured, Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibañez are again expected to anchor Roma’s backline. That duo will likely be flanked again by Rick Karsdorp and Matias Viña, while veteran goalkeeper Rui Patricio will back them all up.
Moving into the midfield, Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout seem favored to start. However, there could be a chance that Amadou Diawara could start in place of one of them after neither had a full preseason to get up to fitness.
Moving forward, most outlets project the same starting trio of Nicolo Zaniolo, Lorenzo Pellegrini, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the attacking midfield. However, keep an eye on Stephan El Shaarawy, who could start in place of either Zaniolo or Pellegrini with the former returning from ACL surgery and the latter overcoming a knock from Thursday. Meanwhile, Eldor Shomurodov will again lead the line after scoring the match-winner on Thursday.