Sassuolo v Roma preview: Formation change possible in absence of Ibanez and Zaniolo

Roma are aiming to pick themselves up when they visit Sassuolo on Sunday evening.

After a draw with Genoa and a loss to Inter, Roma need to get back on track again. Sassuolo will try to stop them in what should be an intriguing affair.

Roma are 10 points above Sassuolo in the table, but games between these two sides have gone either way in recent years. For example, the reverse fixture this season was one of Jose Mourinho’s most memorable in the job yet, when a 90th-minute winner from Stephan El Shaarawy prompted celebrations in the coach’s 1000th game in management.

But the season before, both meetings ended as draws, so it can be hard to separate the two sides.

Fortunately for Roma, Sassuolo are out of sorts somewhat too. The Neroverdi have only won one of their last five games and will be without strikers Gianluca Scamacca (the ex-Roma academy product) and Giacomo Raspadori for this game.

Roma are dealing with their own absences too; Roger Ibanez will be out for a number of weeks with injury, while Nicolo Zaniolo is suspended.

There have been rumours that in Ibanez’s absence, Mourinho may revert to a 4-2-3-1 formation, instead of the recent 3-5-2. The coach was not willing to reveal what would happen in a fiery press conference on Saturday, in which he faced more questions about the atmosphere within the club than the actual game.

All he did reveal was that Tammy Abraham will be playing up front, either alongside a replacement for Zaniolo or in between two wingers. With Roma having drawn a blank in their last two matches, the onus will be on him – but not him alone – to get the ball over the line again.

The game kicks off at 5pm UK time and will be live on BT Sport 1.

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