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Probable Formations: AS Roma vs Spezia

After 120 draining minutes against Sevilla in the midweek, how will Roma approach its final Serie A match?

Sevilla FC v AS Roma - UEFA Europa League Final 2022/23 Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

As Bren pointed out in our match preview, there’s still plenty on the line in Sunday’s final Serie A match of the season for the Giallorossi. With a guaranteed Europa League spot hanging in the balance, Roma will be keen on winning the match and not having to rely on a UEFA penalty against Juve to secure a return to Europe’s second-tier competition.

So, even with Wednesday’s penalty kick loss in the Europa League final still smarting, the Giallorossi will have to move past it quickly from a mental standpoint or risk potentially being in the Conference League next season. And while Mourinho will spell it out clearly for his men before the match, there’s still plenty of physical fatigue to overcome after 120 grueling minutes against Sevilla just days ago.

Knowing what’s on the line, I wouldn’t expect a completely turned-over line-up full of fringe and primavera players. What’s more likely is a mix of regular starters and rotation players to combat a Spezia side that will be fighting for its Serie A life, depending on what happens at the San Siro between AC Milan and Hellas Verona (both matches kick off at 3 PM EDT).

That being said, there should be one change along the back line, with Diego Llorente replacing Roger Ibañez after the Brazilian finished the EL final battered and bruised. He’ll be joined by Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling.

Zeki Çelik is expected to retain his place at right wing-back, while Nicola Zalewski should spell Leo Spinazzola on the left. In the midfield double pivot, Roma’s leader in minutes played, Bryan Cristante, is slated to start alongside Edoardo Bove.

The attack is where there could be some variability. Most outlets are projecting an Andrea Belotti start at striker. Who plays in support of him is in question. Will it be a full turnover, with Ola Solbakken and Stephan El Shaarawy replacing Lorenzo Pellegrini and Paulo Dybala in support of Belotti? I can’t see Dybala starting again, but Roma’s captain may just insist on leading the squad. So, I’ll tip Pellegrini and El Shaarawy.

Probable Formation

Roma (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Llorente, Smalling, Mancini; Zalewski, Cristante, Bove, Çelik; Pellegrini, El Shaarawy; Belotti.