If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That old motto seems to describe José Mourinho’s thinking for the trip to Norway in the Conference League quarterfinal. And with the way the Giallorossi have performed the last two matches with the same starting eleven, the line-up is far from broken, so there won’t be a need to fix it. With the Giallorossi in a busy stretch that sees them play five matches in fifteen days, that might make one think that we’d see turnover for this mid-week match in Scandinavia, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for a few reasons.
With Roma coming off an international break where many members of the starting eleven weren’t involved in national team duty, the players should be fairly fresh four days after a win over Sampdoria at the Marassi. Secondly, as much as the ECL was scoffed at earlier in the season, it’s now the knockout rounds and Mourinho is starting to smell a trophy within his reach. With that being the case, he won’t risk elimination with less than his best.
Plus, with bottom of the table Salernitana coming to the Olimpico on Sunday, that match likely lends itself to more turnover than a quarterfinal match against a team that embarrassingly thumped Roma’s reserves to the tune of 6-1 mere months ago in the same stadium. Lastly, Nicolo Zaniolo and Jordan Veretout remain out, which limits midfield options to rotate in any way.
For all of those reasons, plus the suspension of Lorenzo Pellegrini for the upcoming league match, expect to see the same eleven against Bodø, as the Giallorossi look to exact some revenge on the Norwegians. The only potential change currently being reported is Matias Vina in the place of Nicola Zalewski.
ROMA (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Ibanez, Smalling, Mancini; Vina (Zalewski), Cristante, Oliveira, Karsdorp; Mkhitaryan, Pellegrini; Abraham