Verona v Roma preview: Fonseca hails Kluivert with Zaniolo suspended

Roma will be hoping for another routine win over a promoted side when they travel to face Verona on Sunday.

Last week saw the Giallorossi dispatch Brescia 3-0 upon their return from the international break, and after beating Istanbul Basaksehir by the same scoreline on Thursday in the Europa League, their next league fixture puts them up against another team who rose from Serie B last season.

Verona’s start to life back in the top flight has gone slightly better than Brescia’s, with the Gialloblu sitting in the top half – above the likes of Fiorentina, Torino and AC Milan – having won five of their 13 games. They are yet to beat one of the big sides yet, though, with Juventus, Napoli and Inter Milan all having got the better of them.


In Roma’s quest to keep pace with the early frontrunners, they must go into the game with the desire to become the next top team to beat Ivan Juric’s men. All their top four rivals also have favourable fixtures this weekend, so Roma need to make the most of their momentum to keep the pressure on.

Captain Alessandro Florenzi is back in the squad after missing the win in Turkey, with Juan Jesus also called up again. However, Nicolo Zaniolo is absent through suspension – which could lead to a start for Cengiz Under.

Paulo Fonseca also hailed the improvements in another winger, Justin Kluivert, who scored against Basaksehir and is expected to be in the starting lineup again.

At the back, the form of Chris Smalling and Gianluca Mancini has been giving Roma newfound solidity, and if they can help keep their opponents out on Sunday, it would be the first time in Fonseca’s reign that they had kept three clean sheets in a row – something goalkeeper Pau Lopez will be keen to confirm.

Roma’s record on the road has not been great in November, but Fonseca will be hoping his revitalised squad can continue their positive run.

The game kicks off at 7:45pm UK time and will be shown live on Premier Sports 2.

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