Roma will be looking for their first league win of 2020 when they take on Genoa on Sunday night.
The new year has started with losses to Torino and Juventus, but things improved in midweek with a victory over Parma in the Coppa Italia.
Roma will be hoping to transmit that form back across to league action, with Atalanta having overtaken them into fourth place via their head-to-head record.
Leonardo Spinazzola is guaranteed a starting space despite his move to Inter Milan falling through this week, and with Aleksandar Kolarov suspended, he will have the chance to start on his preferred left-hand side for the first time in Serie A this season.
After the Politano deal was cancelled, #ASRoma have been linked with several other names for the right wing. Who would you prefer?— Giallorossi Yorkshire (@RomaYorkshire) January 18, 2020
Alessandro Florenzi is also out, meaning Davide Santon will play at right-back, and Edin Dzeko will wear the captain’s armband after missing the win over Parma through suspension.
Roma should return to their usual 4-2-3-1 setup despite using an unorthodox back three against Parma, with stand-in defender Bryan Cristante not ready to start consecutive games. Therefore, Jordan Veretout and Amadou Diawara will resume their partnership in shielding the back four.
Diego Perotti also misses out with a knock, meaning Justin Kluivert gets his first start since returning from injury with a flashy cameo against Parma. With Henrikh Mkhitaryan another absentee, Kluivert will form one-third of the attacking midfield in behind Dzeko, joined by Lorenzo Pellegrini and Cengiz Under – who hasn’t scored since the last meeting between the two sides.
This game is a repeat of the season opener, in which Roma sacrificed the lead three times to draw 3-3. That remains the most goals Roma have conceded in one game under Fonseca, with the partnership between Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini at the back playing a big part in the defensive improvements. The duo did not play in the reverse fixture, but could contribute to a sturdier showing this time around.
Genoa have won just one of their last 10 league games, managing to score more than once in only two of those matches. Therefore, Roma should be expecting to concede far fewer chances than they did at the Olimpico back in August.
The match, which gets underway at 5pm, will be shown live in the UK on Premier Sports 1.