There’s been a common theme to Jose Mourinho’s first three official team sheets with AS Roma: consistency. Through the two legged affair with Trazbonspor and the Serie A opener against Fiorentina, Mourinho has used just 12 players in his starting XI with Tammy Abraham replacing Eldor Shomurodov at striker after the first match.
During his pre-match press conference, Mourinho didn’t give any line-up related statements specific to this match. However, last time around he made it abundantly clear that early in the season that players need to play and one can’t worry about line-up turnover. I expect that to be the case again tomorrow when Roma travels down to Salerno to face Salernitana.
One change will be forced though due to the red card that Nicolo Zaniolo received during Roma’s match against the Viola last weekend. Besides Zaniolo, Roma will again be without Chris Smalling who continues to remain out with a flexor issue and Leo Spinazzola.
With Smalling still out, the defense and midfield are expected to remain unchanged from the first three matches of the season. That means Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibanez will center the defense. Flanking them will again be Rick Karsdorp and Matias Vina. Defending Roma’s net will be Rui Patricio, who again came up with some big saves on Thursday at the Olimpico.
Even though there has been plenty of talk about Roma looking to bring in another midfielder before Tuesday’s close of the transfer market, Bryan Cristante and Jordan Veretout have gotten the job done on both ends of the pitch thus far. After Veretout’s brace on Sunday, Cristante scored one of his own on Thursday. Expect both to start again in the double pivot tomorrow.
Moving into the attacking midfield, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lorenzo Pellegrini will again start on the left and center respectively. That duo could be key in unlocking a Salernitana side that is expected to defend in numbers. Meanwhile, Carles Perez looks to be favored to replace Zaniolo in the right wing spot. The only other place we could see a change is at striker where Shomurodov could replace Abraham.