Roma need a victory to remain sole leaders in Serie A and must do without Mohamed Salah against Udinese.
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The Giallorossi are flying high, but Inter’s victory at Bologna last night means they are under pressure already for that top spot.
On paper this might seem like a simple task, but these are often the fixtures that trip up Rudi Garcia’s men and Udinese have already beaten Juventus away from home this season.
Salah and Daniele De Rossi are suspended for this game, joining the injured Seydou Keita, Francesco Totti and Kevin Strootman in the stands.
That means Alessandro Florenzi gets bumped back into midfield with Douglas Maicon returning to right-back.
Gervinho hopes to continue his fine form with Edin Dzeko still seeking Serie A consistency.
Udinese continue to struggle with injuries that rule out Maurizio Domizzi, Guilherme, Duvan Zapata, Panagiotis Kone and Alexander Merkel.
Antonio Di Natale is initially on the bench, so Cyril Thereau leads the attack with Chelsea-owned Stipe Perica.
Roma have won their last four meetings with Udinese, home and away, losing here 3-2 in October 2012.
That was a fiery occasion, as Erik Lamela’s opening brace was cancelled out by a remarkable comeback and Panagiotis Tachtsidis saw red.
Roma: Szczesny; Maicon, Manolas, Rudiger, Digne; Florenzi, Nainggolan, Pjanic; Iago Falque, Dzeko, Gervinho
Udinese: Karnezis; Wague, Danilo, Piris; Widmer, Badu, Iturra, Marquinho, Pasquale; Thereau, Perica
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