Thursday, June 01, 2023
Despite concerns about his fitness, Paulo Dybala has been included in Roma's starting lineup for the Europa League final against Sevilla in Budapest on Wednesday.
The Argentine forward has had limited playing time since his last start in April but remains a key player for Roma this season.
Sevilla coach Jose Luis Mendilibar has chosen to field the same side that defeated Juventus, with the exception of Alex Telles, who replaces the suspended Marcos Acuna at left-back. The match will take place at the Puskas Arena, exactly a year after Roma's victory in the inaugural Europa Conference League.
Both teams have a strong Argentine presence, guaranteeing that at least one Argentine player will win the competition. Sevilla boasts five Argentine players in their squad, including Gonzalo Montiel, Lucas Ocampos, Erik Lamela, Marcos Acuna (who is suspended), and Papu Gomez. Meanwhile, Roma's sole Argentine representative is Paulo Dybala.
It is worth noting that four of the six Argentine players in the final have won the World Cup with the Argentine national team, with three of them having played in the final itself. Among these players, Marcos Acuna, Paulo Dybala, and Gonzalo Montiel all featured in the World Cup final. Dybala notably took the second penalty for Argentina during the shootout, while Montiel scored the decisive penalty that secured Argentina's World Cup triumph.
Dybala's fitness has been a concern leading up to the final, and Roma coach Jose Mourinho has addressed the issue. Mourinho recognizes Dybala's importance to the team and his significant contributions throughout the season. Despite his limited recent appearances, Dybala's inclusion in the starting lineup demonstrates the faith Mourinho has in his abilities.
With Sevilla aiming to add another Europa League title to their collection and Roma determined to secure continental glory under Mourinho's guidance, the stage is set for an enthralling final that will showcase the talents of both teams, including the Argentine stars on display.
Yassine Bounou; Jesus Navas (capt), Loic Bade, Nemanja Gudelj, Alex Telles; Fernando, Ivan Rakitic; Lucas Ocampos, Oliver Torres, Bryan Gil; Youssef En-Nesyri
Coach: Jose Luis Mendilibar (ESP)
Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Zeki Celik, Bryan Cristante, Nemanja Matic, Leonardo Spinazzola; Lorenzo Pellegrini (capt); Paulo Dybala, Tammy Abraham
Coach: Jose Mourinho (POR)
Referee: Anthony Taylor (ENG)