Bryan Cristante has been a polarizing figure throughout his Roma tenure, drawing rave reviews from teammates like Daniele De Rossi, while also being a lightning rod of criticism for much of the fan base. Whether you love him or hate him, one thing is for sure though, he’s been a fixture in the center of José Mourinho’s midfield for better or worse.
However, that won’t be the case tomorrow at the San Siro as Cristante did not travel with the team to Milano. The Italian is suffering from a minor back issue that will keep him out against Inter but should see him fit for the trip to Leicester on Thursday for the first leg of the Europa Conference League semifinals.
Normally, Cristante’s absence would be covered by one of Sérgio Oliveira or Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But with both of those players already slated to start due to the suspension of Nicolo Zaniolo, it looks like Jordan Veretout will get the nod; an extremely rare sight in the second half of this season.
Veretout is a different type of player from Cristante and Roma will likely miss his deep passing ability as the GIallorossi try to hit the defending champions on the counterattack. Not only do the absences of Zaniolo and Cristante weaken the starting XI, but Mourinho will have little midfield depth on his bench for this one.
Aside from the two aforementioned forced changes, there should be little to no turnover from the side that drew Napoli on Monday evening at the Stadio Diego Maradona. The only other potential change could see Max Kumbulla join Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini in place of Roger Ibañez along the back three, although the papers are currently favoring Ibañez.
ROMA (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Ibañez, Smalling, Mancini; Zalewski, Oliveira, Veretout, Karsdorp; Mkhitaryan, Pellegrini; Abraham