Another day. Another injury. At least that’s what it feels like these days in the Romaverse. After going without Gini Wijnaldum, Nicolo Zaniolo, Stephan El Shaarawy, Max Kumbulla, Rick Karsdorp, and Tammy Abraham on Thursday in Bulgaria, José Mourinho received some more bad news post-match. While Abraham and Karsdorp will be back after skipping Thursday for precautionary reasons, Roma will be without Nicola Zalkewski for at least this week against Empoli.
Meanwhile, in what could be big news for the attack, Zaniolo is expected to give it a go from the bench as he’s progressing well from his separated shoulder. Zaniolo’s return will likely be a game-time decision.
What we could and should see in this one is another starting debut for a recent acquisition. After Andrea Belotti and Mile Svilar got their first starting nods in the Europa League, Mady Camara is expected to do the same on Monday. Camara starting will hopefully bring better balance to a midfield that has been forced to feature a pairing of Bryan Cristante and Nemanja Matic. It’s a combo that’s been far from ideal.
Aside from the addition of Camara (likely for Cristante), we should see a few other changes to the side that lost at Ludogorets just a few days ago. It’s a given that Rui Patricio will take up his usual place between the sticks. With Abraham back, he will take the place of Belotti at striker. Meanwhile, Zalewski’s injury means that Leo Spinazzola returns to the starting XI. Lastly, Karsdorp is expected to return to right wing-back.
ROMA (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Ibanez, Smalling, Mancini; Spinazzola, Matic, Camara, Karsdorp; Dybala, Pellegrini; Abraham