Wednesday August 5 2020
Fonseca: 'Zaniolo and Ibanez face Sevilla'

Paulo Fonseca confirms Nicolò Zaniolo and Roger Ibanez ‘will play’ in the Europa League Round of 16 with Sevilla tomorrow, but Lorenzo Pellegrini is ‘undecided’ for Roma.

It is a one-off clash on neutral turf in Germany, to be played on Thursday at 17.55 UK time in Duisburg.

“The team is very motivated, we’re in a good period of form and we know it’s difficult against a great team,” said Fonseca in his press conference.

Jordan Veretout is suspended, while Pellegrini can only play with a protective facial mask after fracturing his nose last week.

“I can confirm that Zaniolo will play tomorrow. I haven’t yet decided on Pellegrini, he is an option, as is Bryan Cristante. We’ll see tomorrow. We arrive with absolute faith.”

Zanilo tore his anterior cruciate ligament in January and only recently returned to the field, getting his first start in the 3-1 win away to Juventus.

Chris Smalling was forced to pull out of the squad after Manchester United refused to allow an extension to his loan deal for the Europa League tournament.

“Chris was a very important player for us, but he’s not here now, so we have to think about those who are,” added the coach.

“I have confidence in all the players who are here for tomorrow’s game. Naturally, Ibanez will take Smalling’s place, as he had played well before the injury and I have total faith in him.

“I don’t need to motivate the team, as they all realise how important the moment is and we are ready to play against a team like Sevilla. This is a different match to the others, as we don’t have two legs to decide, only one game. I always want to win, this time is no different and we are ambitious.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: