Every manager would love to play his best eleven in his side’s biggest matches. After all, you want those players that give you the best chance to win on the pitch when it matters the most. Needless to say, in the real world it doesn’t always play out that way. Injuries and suspensions often deprive managers of a key man or three when they could be most useful and the tactician must adjust to make up for those absences.
We’ve seen it happen plenty of times through the years where Roma enters a big match, either in the league or in European competition, just as the injury bug hits. However, this time around, it looks like José Mourinho will have his best line-up available for tomorrow’s match.
After missing Monday’s match at the San Siro, both Nicolo Zaniolo (ankle) and Bryan Cristante (back) recovered from minor ailments and returned to full training this week ahead of the Giallorossi’s trip to Leicester City. Their absences were key in Roma's 3-1 loss to the Nerazzurri and both could play a key role in the first leg of the Conference League semifinals. If Roma plays on the counterattack as suspected then Cristante’s ability to play long balls over the top and Zaniolo’s pace and ability to take defenders on the break could be just what Roma needs to hit the Foxes in their own den.
Those two returning to the starting line-up would mean Stephan El Shaarawy and Sérgio Oliveira returning to the bench. Other than those two changes, the rest of the starting line-up will remain unchanged and the eleven that achieved derby glory and eliminated Bodø in the quarterfinals will be tasked with getting the job done in the English Midlands.
Roma (3-5-2): Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski, Mkhitaryan, Cristante, Pellegrini, Karsdorp; Zaniolo, Abraham