Roma v Bologna preview: Focus switches to Serie A

The attention once again turns to Serie A for Roma as, fresh from their Europa League win over Ajax on Thursday, they host Bologna on Sunday evening.

Although half an eye will be on Thursday’s second leg against Ajax, Roma need to focus on the task at hand, as they welcome Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Bologna.

After blowing them away with five first-half goals in the reverse fixture, Roma should be fairly confident of winning again. However, Bologna are made of sterner stuff than that result showed, so an intriguing tie awaits.

Roma are able to welcome back Henrikh Mkhitaryan to the squad for this match, although he isn’t ready to start. There are also doubts about whether Jordan Veretout can start two games in a row soon after his own injury. Hence, Gonzalo Villar could come back in alongside ex-Bologna midfielder Amadou Diawara.

There is no space for Leonardo Spinazzola in the squad after he suffered an injury against Ajax. Riccardo Calafiori could get the chance to play again at left-back, although with Rick Karsdorp back among the group, perhaps it is more likely that Bruno Peres will switch over to the opposite flank.

Bryan Cristante, who scored an own goal in the reverse fixture, is out with suspension. That leaves a gap in between Roger Ibanez and Gianluca Mancini to fill, which may mean a rare opportunity for Federico Fazio or Juan Jesus, or leave Paulo Fonseca having to play someone out of position.

Opponents Bologna tend to play with a 4-2-3-1 system, with former Roma goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski being the guard behind them. Their danger men include midfielder Roberto Soriano – their top scorer this season – and forward Musa Barrow.

Roma lost their home fixture against Bologna last season, but will be hoping this season’s away match was a truer reflection of their quality in comparison to the Rossoblu. They will need to get a result in this match to start putting pressure on the sides above them again.

Kick-off is at 5pm UK time and the game will be live on Premier Sports 1.

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