Mourinho facing defensive headache pre-Cagliari

Date:14th January 2022 at 6:00pm
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Roma boss Jose Mourinho is facing a defensive crisis ahead of Sunday’s home Serie A clash against Cagliari.

The Giallorossi are going to be forced into fielding a makeshift back four due to the absence of Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez and Rick Karsdorp, as the number of absentees continues to rise and COVID-19 infections infiltrate the camp.

Ibanez and Bryan Cristante won’t be able to take part after receiving bans for picking up a yellow card apiece in Roma’s last Serie A outing against Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico, and another player – yet to be named – has tested positive.

Mourinho may well choose to deploy Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right-back again, as was the case for the Englishman’s debut in last weekend’s 4-3 loss to the Bianconeri.

Cagliari, on the other hand, go into the game off the back of two consecutive Serie A wins for the first time this season as they continue to scrap for survival.

Casteddu are presently one point behind 17th-placed Venezia and only three points adrift of Spezia in 16th.