Roma sweating defensive options ahead of Napoli clash


RomaPress – Ahead of their Europa League tie against Cluj and a pivotal weekend showdown against Napoli, Roma find themselves in an emergency situation in defence.

Five of the Giallorossi’s central defenders are a question mark for this week’s double slate of matches as Paulo Fonseca will likely have to make sweeping changes to his preferred starting formation.

The first is Chris Smalling. The Englishman, who wasn’t called up for this past Sunday’s match against Parma due to food poisoning, felt discomfort in his left knee during today’s training session. The ex-Manchester United man was limited to individual work and his condition will be evaluated over the coming days.

Gianluca Mancini, meanwhile, underwent a medical examination today after both he and Roger Ibañez suffered minor injuries in the victory over Parma.

For Mancini, the tests revealed only a small strain and no muscle damage. The Italian is already suspended for the match against Cluj but he is a doubt for Sunday against the Partenopei.

The situation is the same Ibañez, who will undergo a follow-up exam in the coming hours but his availability for Sunday is also in question.

Finally, both Marash Kumbulla and Federico Fazio remain out due to COVID. The pair tested positive two weeks ago and have yet to test negative for two consecutive days — a requirement within the Serie A protocol.

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