As Jimmy already covered in this weekend’s match preview, rotation will be the name of the game for Roma and Fiorentina on Saturday at the Artemio Franchi. The Viola are coming off a midweek loss in the Coppa Italia final and have the Conference League Final on the horizon in just about 10 days time. Meanwhile, Roma has its biggest match of the season, the Europa League Final, looming on Wednesday against Sevilla.
As we’ve covered in this piece ad nauseam in recent weeks, the Giallorossi have been battling injuries and fatigue for well over a month now. So, with the aforementioned final ahead, many of Roma’s key men won’t even be making the trip north to Tuscany against the Viola. The players not expected to make the trip are Paulo Dybala, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Leo Spinazzola, Rui Patricio, and Nemanja Matic.
Mourinho did comment on some of the injured players in his UEFA press conference on Thursday.
“Lorenzo can recover but he will be out in Florence. He has a small problem, but it would be risky to play on Saturday. Until Saturday he will be out as a precaution. On Sunday he will return to the group. I don’t expect anything from Paulo, if he can be on the bench and can help us like with Feyenoord it will be positive. Spinazzola is in doubt, I hope to have him back, not for Saturday but for the final. He has often played, unlike Dybala who hasn’t played in a long time. If on Tuesday he doesn’t give positive signals, then it will be impossible.”
Aside from that quintet, Mourinho is also expected to rest some other key players including Gianluca Mancini, Bryan Cristante, Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham. Those players could see some minutes in the match to keep sharp, but starts are very unlikely.
That means more opportunities for some of Roma’s youngsters like Edoardo Bove, Benjamin Tahirovic, and potentially Greek center back Dimitrios Keramitsis. This match will also mark the return to the starting line-up for Diego Llorente after the Spaniard missed considerable time through injury.
ROMA (3-4-2-1): Svilar; Ibañez, Llorente, Kermatisis; Zalewski, Bove, Tahirovic, Çelik; Solbakken, El Shaarawy; Belotti.