Roma return to the pitch Monday evening following back-to-back defeats in the league and Europa League.
The Giallorossi travel to Tuscany to face-off against Empoli at the Stadio Carlo Castellani, hoping to snap their two-game skid after beginning the season unbeaten. The capital club were defeated by both Udinese and Ludogorets in the span of four days this week.
After starting their campaign with three victories and a draw, Roma fell to the Zebrette 4-0 last Sunday before losing to the Bulgarian side 2-1 on Thursday evening in the Europa League—conceding a total of 6 goals in the process.
“It seems like everything’s going against us,” asserted Jose Mourinho after their midweek defeat.
“Are our defenders struggling? I’m not going to discuss only our defenders because our entire team needs to be worried about the defensive duties.”
The former United boss will be forced to play without young duo Nicola Zalewski and Nicolo Zaniolo. The former strained his hip adductor in Thursday’s loss and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks of action.
Zaniolo, meanwhile, won’t be called-up as he recovers from the dislocated shoulder he suffered during the team’s win over Cremonese.
As for their opposition, the Special One’s men come up against a struggling Empoli side that’s still in search of its first victory this season.
The Tuscans have been held to four consecutive draws after beginning their season with a defeat to Spezia. Last week they drew 2-2 against Salernitana but manager Paolo Zanetti is convinced the points will start coming soon for his team.
“We’ve got to keep thinking as a team because I’m convinced we’ll start finding point if we do so,” he said after last weekend’s result.
“Now we have Roma awaiting us in the next match. It’s going to be difficult but every game must be viewed as an opportunity for us to grab points.”
“Of course we’ll respect the opposition but that doesn’t mean we have to give up our identity and playing style.”
Kick-off is scheduled for 20.45 local time in Tuscany on Monday evening.
(4-3-1-2): Vicario; Stojanovic, Ismajli, Luperto, Parisi; Haas, Grassi, Bandinelli; Pjaca; Satriano, Lammers
(3-4-1-2): Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibañez; Karsdorp, Camara, Cristante, Spinazzola; Pellegrini; Dybala, Abraham