Roma v Crotone preview: Milestone appearance in line for Pellegrini

Roma will be looking for their first Serie A win in five games when they host already relegated Crotone on Sunday evening.

After their Europa League journey came to an end at the semi-final stage in midweek, Roma now have four games left in Serie A. Tricky challenges against champions Inter and arch-rivals Lazio are sandwiched between more than winnable games against Crotone and Spezia.

First up is the clash with Serse Cosmi’s side, who already know they will be back in Serie B next season. Roma also know they aren’t going to finish as high as they would have liked, but winning this game would help them keep hold of seventh place.

Paulo Fonseca, overseeing his penultimate match at Stadio Olimpico, may choose to change things around a bit. He has already confirmed that academy graduate Ebrima Darboe will start, for example. Other Primavera players Edoardo Bove and Nicola Zalewski – the latter having come on against Manchester United on Thursday – are also in the squad.

There is no place for Chris Smalling, who limped off against his former club. Pau Lopez is also out after undergoing surgery on his dislocated shoulder, thus meaning he has played for the last time this season.

As well as Smalling, Gianluca Mancini is missing in defence due to suspension, so there could be a lack of experience at the back. Roger Ibanez will have his work cut out in leading the backline.

In midfield, captain Lorenzo Pellegrini could make his 150th appearance for the club, while if full-back Davide Santon features at any point he will reach his half-century.

Borja Mayoral may also be eyeing an opportunity up front after scoring a brace in the reverse fixture in January.

Roma have won all five of their previous meetings with Crotone in Serie A so will be aiming to keep that up.

The game kicks off at 5pm UK time, but coverage will only begin on Premier Sports 1 from 5:15pm.

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