Paulo Fonseca gave a few selection hints as he spoke to the media ahead of Sunday's Serie A meeting with Parma.
The game at the Stadio Olimpico gets underway at 15:00 local time.
Here's what the boss had to say about the game...
How are Lorenzo Pellegrini and Chris Smalling doing? Will they be in the squad tomorrow?
“Lorenzo is not in top shape, he’s only trained with us today. But he’ll be in the squad. Smalling is not going to be ready for the game, he won’t play.”
Roma’s current unbeaten run in the league – on the pitch, at least – started in this fixture last season. What’s the major difference that explains that run, do you think?
“Time is the most important thing in football. We’ve had more time to work together, and now the team has an identity, which we’ve built over the course of these two years.
"When a coach joins a new team he always needs time to stamp their mark on things. Now the team is playing together in a different way. Then from that results give confidence and energy to everything we are trying to do.”
Did Dan and Ryan Friedkin speak with you before making the decision to hire Tiago Pinto?
“No, that was the chairman’s decision. He’s a sporting director that has done great work in Portugal. He’s shown his credentials, but it was the chairman who made the choice.”
It’s 501 days since your first coaching session here at Roma. How much have you changed, and how much has Roma changed since then?
“I always want to get better, every day. Now I’m a coach that is better adjusted to Italian football, who feels more integrated in the country and has a better understanding of everything. I think that this is important, to really understand the environment you find yourself in. This team is a team that plays football in a style close to what I want.”
Mkhitaryan did well at centre forward last week. Could the Armenian start there again against Parma, or will you go with Borja Mayoral?
“Mkhitaryan played well in that position, but tomorrow Borja Mayoral will start there.”
How important would a stadium be for this club?
“I don’t know the whole process surrounding the stadium, but for the growth of the club it’s important to have its own home.”
Is Amadou Diawara ready to start, or will you go with Gonzalo Villar?
Given the absences in defence, will you stick with the three-man defence tomorrow or go to a back four?
“We’ll see tomorrow.”
Was the three-man backline born after discussions with Gianluca Petrachi? And how much have you missed having a sporting director over these last few months?
“I always had a good relationship with Gianluca Petrachi. I listened to what he had to say, both on that topic and on others we discussed. But the decision to change the formation was one I made.”
By hiring Tiago Pinto, Roma seems to be creating a more fluid and modern corporate structure. Is that a fair suggestion, and would you like to have a more influential role within that structure?
“For me the important thing is always to work hard with the squad. It’s important that together we are all able to choose what’s best for Roma.”
How has training gone over the last two weeks? We are now starting another new cycle with a lot of games between now and Christmas…
“Last week was difficult. We had a few Covid cases, which meant we had to train individually. This week we’ve trained well. We are ready to get started on this busy fixture schedule – which starts tomorrow against Parma.”
What sort of team are Parma?
“Parma are a side I like; they are good, compact in defence and dangerous on the counter-attack. Gervinho is a really key player for them – we have to make sure they don’t get a chance to counter against us.”