Roma v Bologna preview: Intrigue to selections in Serie A sojourn before semi-final second leg

Jose Mourinho will have to decide whether to go full strength or rest players in the Serie A game between Roma and Bologna on Sunday night.

In between the two legs of the Europa Conference League semi-final against Leicester City, Roma have more Serie A duties to attend to. Although, their focus will likely be fixed on Thursday’s next challenge against their English opponents after a 1-1 draw a few days ago.

Still, Roma must continue their pursuit of a fifth-placed finish in Serie A, in which they have gone two games without a win. If they can avoid defeat this time, they would leapfrog Lazio into the automatic Europa League qualification place with three games of the season to go.

All eyes will be on Mourinho’s team selection as he balances the two competitions Roma remain in. Two men who will definitely be absent are Sergio Oliveira through suspension and Henrikh Mkhitaryan because of injury, but several others could be rested in view of the Leicester return leg.

Among those who could come in are Marash Kumbulla (in place of Chris Smalling), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (for Rick Karsdorp) and Felix Afena-Gyan (instead of Nicolo Zaniolo). But in truth, it is anyone’s guess how Roma will line up.

As for Bologna, the visitors are unable to call upon Mitchell Dijks due to injury. Their squad list will include, however, Scottish full-back Aaron Hickey and former Giallorossi goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski.

When these two sides met earlier in the season, in December, Skorupski kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win for Bologna, whose goal was scored by Mattias Svanberg. The Rossoblu are currently on a five-game unbeaten run in Serie A, having beaten Inter Milan 2-1 last time out, so should not be underestimated again.

That said, there will already be one eye on the game after this one. Roma must make sure they concentrate enough though to get the points they need in the race for fifth.

The game kicks off at 7:45pm UK time and will be live on BT Sport 1.


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