Despite some injuries to key men, the Giallorossi have rounded into form in recent weeks. With five wins on the trot in all competitions and three straight in the league, Roma is back within striking distance of the European places. However, in that span, Mourinho’s side has yet to face a challenge of the caliber of Sunday’s opponents.
On Sunday, Roma travels to the San Siro to face top-of-the-table Inter, and the Giallorossi will have to pull off the upset without Mourinho on the bench and some key players on the pitch. To start, none of Chris Smalling, Paulo Dybala, or Renato Sanches has made it back as had been originally hoped. Instead, Mourinho will have to hope he can count on that trio for the Derby in two weeks' time.
Additionally, Lorenzo Pellegrini remains out, while Leonardo Spinazzola joins him on the injured list. That’s another big blow considering Spina has started to perform better in recent weeks. All told that’s at least four players who normally would start this match unavailable, as well as an impact substitute.
With all of those injuries, there won’t be many starting spots in question in Milano on Sunday. Nicola Zalewski will slide into Spinazzola’s starting spot at left wing-back. And Rick Karsdorp looks to have a leg up on Rasmus Kristensen and Zeki Çelik on the right.
With Diego Llorente having recently returned to the starting eleven against Slavia Prague on Thursday, Bryan Cristante will again start in the midfield. Joining him will be Leandro Paredes and Edoardo Bove, who looks to have the edge over Houssem Aouar after his goalscoring feat on Thursday.
Up top, Stephan El Shaarawy should make his second consecutive start alongside Romelu Lukaku. Il Faraone has been decisive in recent weeks with his match-winning goal against Monza and pair of assists against Slavia.
ROMA (3-5-2): Patricio; Ndicka, Llorente, Mancini; Zalewski, Paredes, Cristante, Bove, Karsdorp; El Shaarawy, Lukaku.