Roma get their 2020-21 Europa League campaign underway on Thursday as they face Young Boys.
The group stage begins with a trip to Switzerland to play the Bern-based side, who finished top of the Swiss Super League last season. They were knocked out of the Champions League in the qualifying rounds last month.
Despite Young Boys starting in the superior European competition, Roma undoubtedly go into this game as favourites. The Giallorossi are the top seeds for the group and have much bigger pedigree in their squad.
However, with a busy run of games coming up, some of Roma’s star names may get a rest. Paulo Fonseca has confirmed he will change around half of his lineup from the win over Benevento at the weekend.
A number of Roma’s Spanish contingent could come into the lineup. Gonzalo Villar sat alongside Fonseca at his pre-match press conference, and after playing a key part in the penultimate goal against Benevento, could get a chance to impress.
There could be a first appearance of the season for Pau Lopez in goal. Antonio Mirante has started the season as first choice, but Lopez may get an opportunity to get back on track.Embed from Getty Images
While Roma’s most experienced Spanish player, Pedro, may get a rest after all his hard work recently, his younger compatriot Carles Perez could replace him. Perez scored a wonder goal as a substitute against Benevento, so will be hoping to show what he can do for a whole 90 minutes.
In front of him, Borja Mayoral could make his first start after coming on for his debut at the weekend. It will be his first time ever playing in the Europa League.
Roma have never played Young Boys in a competitive game before, but have won more than half of their 11 games against other Swiss sides in the past.
After finishing second in their group last season, Roma will be looking to make a good start in hope of progressing again this year. They have advanced from the group stages of each of their last five continental campaigns.
The game kicks off at 5:55pm UK time.