Roma have UEFA Europa League action at the Stadio Olimpico again, as the Giallorossi welcome CSKA Sofia in matchday two of their Group A fixtures.
The Bulgarians have had the worst possible preparation coming into this game, having fired their manager, Stamen Belchev, and Roma will be looking to take advantage.
Roma made a promising start to their Europa League campaign last week, coming from behind to defeat BSC Young Boys in Switzerland.
They followed that with a wildly entertaining and controversial game against Serie A league leaders AC Milan, with Edin Dzeko, Jordan Veretout and Marash Kumbulla on the scoresheet as they grabbed a fortunate 3-3 draw.
CSKA Sofia, meanwhile, had a disappointing start to their European sojourn, losing 0-2 to Romanian champions CFR Cluj, despite having plenty of chances to score in the first half.
Perennial runners up to Bulgarian champions Ludogorets, CSKA Sofia went on to draw 1-1 against Arda Kardzhali, leaving them in fifth place in the league table. In perhaps surprising timing, the club announced they were parting ways with their manager Stamen Belchev, in an incredible week for Bulgarian football.
Roma vs CSKA Sofia Head-to-Head
Roma have a great record against Bulgarian teams; they've won five out of six games, while winning all their home games.
The last time these two sides met was in the group stages of the 2009-10 Europa League, with Roma winning 2-0 at home and 3-0 away.
Roma form guide: D-W-W-W-D
CSKA Sofia form guide: W-D-D-L-D
Roma vs CSKA Sofia Team News
Paulo Fonseca saw his squad emerge from the game against AC Milan without any new injuries, but will have to make do without Carles Perez as he's down with tonsilitis. However, there is positive news with Chris Smalling returning to training and there is an outside chance he could feature in this game.
Most of the starting XI who played at the San Siro are unlikely to start, especially with a game against Fiorentina coming up on the weekend. Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio are both likely to feature in defence as Fonseca rings the changes.
Injuries: Nicolo Zaniolo, Javier Pastore, Amadou Diawara, Riccardo Calafiori, Carles Perez
Doubtful: Chris Smalling
Suspensions: Gianluca Mancini
With Stamen Belchev sacked, and with CSKA Sofia yet to announce their new manager, it's anyone's guess what the lineup will be. However, the Reds put in a good performance with the XI that started against Cluj, so the makeup of their lineup ought to be mostly the same.
On-loan Watford pair Jerome Sinclair and Adalberto Penaranda may make an appearance given the importance of the game.
Roma vs CSKA Sofia Predicted Lineups
AS Roma (3-4-2-1): Pau Lopez (GK); Chris Smalling, Federico Fazio, Juan Jesus; Davide Santon, Bryan Cristante, Gonzalo Villar, Bruno Peres; Pedro Rodriguez, Lorenzo Pellegrini; Borja Mayoral
CSKA Sofia (4-2-3-1): Gustavo Busatto (GK), Thibaut Vion, Valentin Antov, Jurgen Mattheij, Bradley Mazikou; Tiago Rodrigues, Amos Youga; Jerome Sinclair, Younousse Sankhare, Georgi Yomov; Ali Sowe
Roma vs CSKA Sofia Prediction
Given the chaos surrounding Sofia at the moment, you would be hard-pressed to bet against Roma getting all three points at home. Even if Paulo Fonseca rings in the changes, Borja Mayoral, Pedro and others ought to have enough about them to score past the beleaguered Bulgarians.
In all likelihood, it's going to be a one-sided affair, with Roma getting plenty of goals.
Prediction: AS Roma 3-1 CSKA SofiaPublished 27 Oct 2020, 23:13 IST