while we saw Rome He played four full-backs several times this season during the match, but we haven’t seen Mourinho use it since the whistle. However, that may change in today’s match against HJK. Mourinho He announced in his pre-match press that Roma’s defensive “Plan B” was ready, equating to only two out of three healthy centre-backs.
“Tomorrow it will be Plan B. Two of the three midfielders will play. Now I will leave it open as to what Plan B might be…”
This is likely because Mourinho wants to rest one of his defenders amid a busy period. If that’s the case, I would expect Chris Smalling to sit up, given his age and history of minor muscle injuries.
In his pre-match press conference, Mourinho also emphasized other key players: Nico Zaniolo and Madi Camara, who will make his debut in the Roma shirt. Mourinho spoke about his condition yesterday.
“He’s not in a place to play 90 minutes yet. When he arrived here he hadn’t played for a month, the last game he played was against Slavia Prague in Champions League Qualifications. And then when he got here he had some fitness issues.
“He is now improving from a fitness perspective, and from a tactical point of view, he is learning our way of playing and what midfielders have to do. He will play tomorrow.
Meanwhile, having played off the bench against Empoli, Zaniolo is poised to be rewarded for his quick recovery from a dislocated shoulder. Mourinho praised Zaniolo’s hard work to be back sooner than expected.
He will play tomorrow. He will play. But I will say it again, the injury was not easy for him. He wanted to come back as soon as possible. He worked hard with the medical team and the other staff. He really wanted to be available again quickly. He was ready to put himself in danger. When it wasn’t the best idea probably.
“In Empoli he was ready to play, then during the match I decided to change tactics when I became 2-1. However, he will play tomorrow. I don’t know if he will get 90 minutes on his legs but I am sure he will do well. The mental aspect is the most important. He Really excited, really confident, and he was playing really well before the injury. And tomorrow he will be back.”
Zaniolo’s return likely means Lorenzo Pellegrini’s fall in midfield. Mourinho also spoke of Pellegrini’s prowess with Zaniolo’s return.
“Last year I talked about three of the Pellegrinis and how all three would be starting players on my team. Why? Because he can play in three different positions. And he can do them all well. Given his age, he can still improve. He is a fantastic and influential player wherever he is. .
“Obviously if he’s playing right-back he might have some problems. But it’s a pity we only have one, I’d like to have three. We try to give him the role – or roles – where he feels more comfortable. He can’t do it all, But this is normal.
“But I don’t want to focus on that too much. The team is the most important thing. He is the leader and he knows that the team is the most important thing. A player needs to do what needs to be done for the team. And in this aspect he is crucial, no matter what position he plays. He A really important player for us.”
Although indications from across the peninsula suggest he will not be a Pellegrini-Camara double pivot, with the switch to the defensive quadruple, Mourinho will play 4-3-1-2 with Cristante joining this duo.
Also, keep an eye on Paulo Dybala who is potentially resting. After the last match, Mourinho spoke about Tammy Abraham’s ability to play with Andrea Belotti, and this could be the match that happens.
(4-3-1-2): Patricio. Spinazzola, Ibanez, Mancini, Celec; Camara, Cristante, Pellegrini; Zaniolo. Abraham, Belotti