Saturday October 5 2019
Maran: 'Nainggolan could start'

Rolando Maran keeps Roma guessing on his Cagliari starting XI, which could include Radja Nainggolan. “We tried out a few solutions.”

It kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 UK time (13.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.

Inevitably, all eyes are on Nainggolan and his potential return to the starting XI after injury, doing this against his former club.

“The team played well without Nainggolan too, but we tried out a few solutions in training so we’re ready for any situation,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

The Belgian has been used as a trequartista or in a deeper midfield role.

“I generally always try to have two strikers, but the dynamics of a game can prompt change. We must maintain our identity, so that we keep certain characteristics even when making adjustments.

“Roma are a complete squad and have more strength in depth than most Serie A sides, especially in attack. We’ll have to contain their moves from the back.

“Edin Dzeko is one of the most well-rounded strikers in the league. He has technique, is intelligent, physically strong and we must do well to limit him as much as possible.

“It’s a totally different game from last season with their new Coach and tactics. We got the mentality wrong last time, but won’t make that mistake again. If we have the attitude of a team, then we can be dangerous opponents for anyone.”

Cagliari have a 100 per cent away record this season, winning two games with four goals scored and one conceded, compared to just one victory, a draw and two losses at the Sardegna Arena.

“We have players with characteristics that do better with space to run, so we prefer more open and attacking opponents.”

Charalampos Lykogiannis and Simone Pinna join the injury list, with Ragnar Klavan, Alessio Cragno, Leonardo Pavoletti and Paolo Faragò.

Nainggolan isn’t the only former Roma player lining up for Cagliari at the Olimpico, as there are also Robin Olsen and Luca Pellegrini.

Cagliari squad for Roma: Rafael, Aresti, Olsen; Mattiello, Cacciatore, Pisacane, Ceppitelli, Pellegrini, Walukiewicz; Nainggolan, Rog, Cigarini, Oliva, Nandez, Ionita, Deiola, Castro; Cerri, Joao Pedro, Ragatzu, Simeone

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