Fonseca: ‘Roma still have hope’

Paulo Fonseca assures Roma ‘still have hope’ of catching Atalanta in fourth place and there’s more to Milan than on-form Ante Rebic.

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“The team had a good response after the lockdown and I am very optimistic for this season,” said the coach in his press conference.

“Justin Kluivert didn’t play in the last game due to a slight muscular issue, but he is ready now and we’ll see whether he starts or not. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Davide Zappacosta are also ready to start.

“I’d prefer to play later than this in the heat, but there are no excuses and we are both in the same situation. I’ve never seen my players worried about the temperature.”

Pau Lopez and Nicolò Zaniolo are still injured, but Juan Jesus, Mert Cetin and Davide Santon are left out ahead of expected summer transfers.

Roma are still seeking fourth place, but it’ll be difficult with Atalanta racking up victories.

“Atalanta are very strong and in good shape. Having said that, I still have hope. We must focus on winning our games and only then see what the others are doing.

“We’ve created a lot of chances and that’s positive, certainly more than when the team doesn’t create the opportunities. I am optimistic, we scored twice and beat Sampdoria 2-1 in our first game back.”

Milan have already played a Coppa Italia semi-final and crushed Lecce 4-1 away from home since the lockdown.

“The Rossoneri played well and I think they are a better team now than when we faced them last time,” continued Fonseca.

“They have a lot of quality players and not just Ante Rebic, so we’ve got to be prepared for them as a team. I always admired Milan when I was young, as they had one of the best teams I’d ever seen, with Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Franco Baresi and Paolo Maldini.”

Roma squad for Milan: Cardinali, Fuzato, Mirante; Zappacosta, Smalling, Mancini, Kolarov, Fazio, Bruno Peres, Spinazzola, Ibanez; Cristante, Pellegrini, Perotti, Villar, Veretout, Pastore, Diawara, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko, Under, Kalinic, Carles Perez, Kluivert

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