Udinese v Roma preview: Switch to Serie A focus

Roma are back in Serie A action on Sunday following on Twitter from their European exploits in midweek, with a match against Udinese.

Sandwiched in between the two legs of the Europa Conference League tie with Vitesse – the first of which ended as a 1-0 win – is a trip to face Udinese. Roma are looking to extend a seven-game unbeaten run in Serie A, in their last league match before next week’s return against Vitesse and all-important Derby Della Capitale.

While selection issues for those games could have an effect on who Jose Mourinho picks for this one, the focus once the first whistle blows must be solely on the 90 minutes ahead.

In terms of team news, Marash Kumbulla and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are out due to suspension. Compared to the lineup that faced Vitesse, Chris Smalling should take Kumbulla’s place, slotting in between Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibanez. Meanwhile, Mkhitaryan could be replaced by Lorenzo Pellegrini, despite the risk of a suspension for the derby, ahead of Sergio Oliveira and Bryan Cristante in midfield.

Mourinho is also weighing up whether to replace Matias Vina with Stephan El Shaarawy or Nicola Zalewski on the left flank. Alternatively, El Shaarawy could feature in a more central attacking role if he is to start. That would be in place of Nicolo Zaniolo, who is in the same situation as Pellegrini ahead of the derby.

The reverse fixture with Udinese was a 1-0 win for Roma, which has coincidentally been the scoreline in their three most recent fixtures. Udinese, meanwhile, go into this on the back of a 2-1 win over Sampdoria, and 1-1 draws with Lazio and Milan before that.

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

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