Argentina are aiming to defend their Copa America title as Lionel Scaloni names a 29-man provisional squad ahead of the tournament.

Lionel Messi will once again captain the side, with Scaloni also choosing the experienced Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Otamendi in the squad.

Enzo Fernandez is called up, despite missing the end of Chelsea's Premier League season due to having groin surgery in April. Lisandro Martinez is also recalled despite only recently returning from injury.

A surprise omission to the squad is Roma’s Paulo Dybala, who has scored 16 goals across all competitions this season and earned three player of the month awards in an impressive season.

However, the forward could not force his way back into the squad after being limited to just two substitute appearances for Argentina in 2023.

Scaloni will have to narrow his squad down to 26 men, meaning three will drop out of the squad by June 12 before their Copa America opener against Canada on June 20.

Before the tournament, Argentina will play friendlies against Ecuador and Guatemala. 

Argentina squad

Goalkeepers: Franco Armani (River Plate), Geronimo Rulli (Ajax), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel (Nottingham Forest), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Leonardo Balerdi (Marseille), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Lucas M. Quarta (Fiorentina), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon), Valentin Barco (Brighton

Midfielders: Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis), Leandro Paredes (Roma), Alexis Mac Allister (Liverpool), Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea), Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham)

Forwards: Angel Di Maria (Benfica), Valentin Carboni (Monza), Lionel Messi (Inter Miami), Angel Correa (Atletico Madrid), Alejandro Garnacho (Manchester United), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Lautaro Martinez (Inter), Julian Alvarez (Manchester City)

Roma’s 10 men held out to see off Serie A rivals AC Milan 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico and secure a place in the Europa League semi-finals.

Leading 1-0 from the first leg, early goals from Gianluca Mancini and Paulo Dybala put the Giallorossi firmly in control of the tie.

Roma defender Zeki Celik was shown a straight red card after 31 minutes for sliding in on Rafael Leao, but AC Milan could not make their advantage count despite a late consolation goal from Matteo Gabbia.

Ahead of the match, Roma had confirmed head coach Daniele De Rossi would remain in charge for “the foreseeable future”, the former midfielder having overseen an upturn in fortunes since taking over in January after Jose Mourinho was sacked.

Mancini – whose goal had settled the first leg at the San Siro – opened the scoring in the 12th minute.

Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini collected the ball just outside the box and curled a shot against the far post. Mancini was first to the rebound, knocking it in from 10 yards.

AC Milan went in search of a way back as Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s angled drive bounced up off the ground and deflected onto the crossbar.

Roma doubled their lead in the 22nd minute.

Romelu Lukaku showed great strength to barge past Gabbia and into the left side of the penalty area. Although the Milan defender recovered to stab Lukaku’s cross away, the ball fell to Dybala, who curled it into the far bottom corner.

Belgian forward Lukaku then sustained an injury and was replaced by Tammy Abraham in the 29th minute.

Roma found themselves down to 10 men just after the half-hour mark when Celik slid in on Leao as the Portuguese forward sprinted away down the left and was shown a straight red card by Polish referee Szymon Marciniak.

The visitors were soon claiming a penalty when the ball bounced around a crowded penalty area and looked to have hit Mancini on the hand.

However, after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor, the referee ruled the ball had struck Olivier Giroud’s hand first.

Dybala was also forced off through injury just before half-time, with Diego Llorente coming on.

Roma, who have climbed from ninth to fifth in Serie A under De Rossi, were content to allow Milan plenty of possession but without really stretching the home defensive line.

The Giallorossi looked to hit Milan on the counter, with Leonardo Spinazzola played clear down the left but his low angled drive was pushed away by Mike Maignan.

On the hour, Leao then cut inside to pull the ball back for Luka Jovic but his shot from 10 yards was straight at Roma goalkeeper Mile Svilar.

Roma winger Stephan El Shaarawy got away down the right and sent in a cross which Abraham first tried to flick goalwards with a backheel – and then blazed the loose ball over.

Milan continued to struggle to down Roma before eventually scoring a late consolation when defender Gabbia headed in from Leao’s cross with five minutes left.

In stoppage time, Milan defender Theo Hernandez was initially sent off for a foul on El Shaarawy – only for the referee to overturn his decision after taking another look on the monitor and show a yellow card instead.

Roberto De Zerbi acknowledged Brighton’s 4-0 hammering at Roma was a reality check for his Europa League novices.

The Seagulls’ adventure in Europe turned into a nightmare at Stadio Olimpico after they conceded twice in each half to lose heavily in the club’s first ever European knockout tie.

First-half goals by Paulo Dybala and Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku put the visitors on the ropes, but worse was to follow with Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante able to score in quick succession to essentially kill the last-16 tie ahead of next week’s second leg.

This defeat made it three in a row for injury-hit Brighton, who were without a number of key individuals, which has contributed towards their season derailing in recent weeks with poor Premier League form coupled with an FA Cup exit leaving the Europa League as the club’s main focus.

“We played our game. We gave our best. Maybe our best now is this performance,” De Zerbi admitted.

“I think Roma is much better in terms of experience to play this type of game and we suffer a lot. Too much I think. We are not used to playing this competition and today we paid everything.

“We paid (for) a squad not so long, we paid to play away in this stadium, we paid with too many injured players and for us, it is the first time so we have to improve.

“We have to progress and if we want to compete in this level, from the owner to the coach to the players we have to progress to reach one level higher.

“We are proud we reach this game. We know very well the situation. I know very well the situation.

“I spoke with the owner a lot of times before February on the transfer market and I told him the problems we are finding, but it is the first time Brighton plays this competition. Europa League final eight is a big level for us so we have to improve to progress.”

Roma broke the deadlock after 12 minutes when Leandro Paredes’ superb through ball found Dybala, who rounded Jason Steele and fired into the empty net with VAR subsequently awarding the goal.

Brighton did respond with Simon Adingra, who had an early cross deflected onto a post by Roma’s Evan Ndicka, able to pick out Danny Welbeck, but Mile Svilar denied the former England international’s header with his feet.

Welbeck would be thwarted again by Svilar before half-time, although by this point the hosts had extended their advantage.

A poor touch by Lewis Dunk from Paredes’ long ball allowed Lukaku the opportunity to dribble into the area where he slotted beyond Steele for his 18th goal of the campaign.

More Adingra magic created another opening early into the second period, but Welbeck scooped over and Roma hit Brighton with a double sucker-punch.

 

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First, a Stephan El Shaarawy cross was poked home by Mancini, who had looked marginally offside but VAR awarded the 64th-minute goal before four minutes later another El Shaarawy centre was headed home by Cristante to ensure De Zerbi endured a night to forget on his return to Italy.

He told TNT Sports: “Yes, we create a lot of chance and maybe the same in terms of numbers, but if you watch the game, you can understand Roma played with different power, with different speed and with different habits I think. Habits to play this game.

“We are not used to playing at this level and so we showed our problems, but I love this club, I love these players and I know we played 20 per cent of our potential.”

Meanwhile, Brighton supporters’ were alleged to have had objects thrown at them inside Stadio Olimpico.

“We are aware of the bottles, coins and lighters being thrown by home supporters into the away end. We have reported to UEFA and Italian police and requested immediate action be taken,” a Brighton statement read.

Brighton’s European adventure turned into a nightmare after they were blown away by Roma to suffer a 4-0 defeat at the Stadio Olimpico.

Roberto De Zerbi had guided the Seagulls through to the Europa League last-16 with a four-match winning run in the competition, but first-half goals by Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku put the visitors on the ropes in Rome.

Worse was to follow after the break with Gianluca Mancini and Bryan Cristante able to score in quick succession to essentially kill the tie.

The Premier League outfit did have their chances with Danny Welbeck denied on several occasions, but injury-hit Brighton need a miracle to overturn a four-goal deficit in next week’s second leg.

De Zerbi and opposite number Daniele De Rossi exchanged a number of pleasantries on Wednesday with the Seagulls boss labelled a “genius”, but it was a different story out in the streets of the Italian capital with two Brighton fans stabbed the day before the match.

Both fortunately only suffered minor wounds ahead of the club’s first ever European knockout tie and a hostile atmosphere greeted the away players onto the pitch.

It was almost 1-0 inside three minutes when Leonardo Spinazzola was given too much time on the left and picked out Chelsea loanee Lukaku, whose header was brilliantly tipped over by Jason Steele.

Steele was at fault for Roma’s next opportunity after a wayward pass gifted possession to the hosts, although Lukaku could only drag his effort wide.

It had largely been one-way traffic but Brighton provided a reminder of their threat when Simon Adingra – one of six changes from Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Fulham – saw his cross deflected onto the post by Roma’s Evan Ndicka.

That chanced settled Brighton, who had just started to dictate possession when they were cut open for the opener after 12 minutes.

Leandro Paredes threaded a superb through ball from inside his own half, which Lewis Dunk was unable to intercept and Dybala rounded Steele before he fired into the empty net.

Dybala’s joy was initially cut short when the offside flag was raised but a VAR check deemed the Argentina attacker had been onside and the goal stood.

Brighton did respond well to going behind and more joy for Adingra down the left created a chance for Welbeck after 26 minutes, but Mile Svilar brilliantly saved with his feet.

Lukaku headed another opportunity off target soon after before Paul van Hecke deflected a Lorenzo Pellegrini shot wide as Roma retained their dominance and that turned into a second goal with 43 minutes on the clock.

Another Paredes ball forward caused Brighton problems and captain Dunk’s poor touch allowed Lukaku to race through and slot beyond Steele for his 18th goal of the season.

The visitors almost responded instantly after Adingra crossed in for Welbeck, but Svilar produced a flying save to thwart the header.

De Zerbi introduced Ansu Fati at half-time, but Roma should have made it 3-0 early into the second period only for Steele to deny Lukaku’s latest header.

The next goal felt crucial and more Adingra magic created another opening for Welbeck, who could only scoop over from inside the area.

It was a pivotal miss with Roma able to grab their third and fourth goals in quick succession to all but kill the tie.

Mancini poked home from Stephan El Shaarawy’s cross after 64 minutes and although the defender appeared marginally offside, a VAR check awarded the goal.

Four minutes later it was 4-0 as El Shaarawy again burst down the left and found Cristante, who headed home to ensure De Zerbi endured a night to forget on his return to Italy.

Jose Mourinho saluted Paulo Dybala after his late equaliser paved the way for Roma's dramatic extra-time victory over Feyenoord in the Europa League quarter-finals.

The Giallorossi set up a semi-final showdown with Bayer Leverkusen after coming from behind to defeat Feyenoord 4-2 on aggregate at Stadio Olimpico.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Roma were on the brink of elimination after Igor Paixao's header cancelled out Leonardo Spinazzola's earlier strike.

But Dybala, who was introduced as a substitute after missing Sunday's victory over Udinese through injury, levelled the tie with a sharp turn and finish forcing extra time, in which further strikes from Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini sealed the deal.

It was the former Juventus forward's 16th goal of the season and fourth in the Europa League – a tally only bettered by Marcus Rashford, Victor Boniface (both six) and Santiago Gimenez (five) – and his exploits drew praise from his head coach.

"My feeling is that he was seeking the joy, he had lost more than confidence," Mourinho told Sky Sport Italia. 

"He found it here. He has found a coach who understands him, a crowd that loves him and a space on the field in which to be a leader with his quality and personality.

"Dybala is a nice boy. He has the quality to play for the biggest clubs in the world, but he has found joy here.

"I gave him absolute freedom to come on tonight, and he could come off even two minutes later if he didn't feel up to it. But he played 30 minutes of extra time and 25 minutes regular, and he finished on a high."

Meanwhile, Dybala also paid tribute to Mourinho who, having guided Roma to the Europa Conference League title last season, is closing in on a sixth triumph in European competition. 

"I think everyone knows Mourinho, his history, what he's done in Europe and at every club he worked at, I think he won something," the forward added.

"His mentality fuels you. He knew the game could end up like this and pushed us to give something more. He changed the tactical system, we started playing better and dominated extra time for a deserved victory.

"I think we all want to win, which is the most important thing. We have a coach with an incredible mentality. He told us the game would be like that, and he was absolutely right.

"This squad won the Europa Conference League last season, so they know what it takes to win. Now, we hope to go all the way in the Europa League too."

Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini scored in extra time as Roma battled into the Europa League last four after a 4-1 win over Feyenoord secured a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Leonardo Spinazzola's second-half goal on Thursday cancelled out Mats Wieffer's first-leg winner, only for Igor Paixao's header to put Feyenoord on the brink of the semi-finals with 10 minutes remaining.

Yet Paulo Dybala levelled the tie in the 89th minute with a sharp turn and finish to set the stage for an extra-time period Roma dominated to set up a two-legged meeting with Bayer Leverkusen in the semis.

El Shaarawy prodded Tammy Abraham's low cross past Justin Bijlow to edge the Giallorossi ahead, before Pellegrini – who hit the post when the game was still goalless – lashed home a clinching goal awarded after a VAR review overturned an original offside decision.

That was the end of the scoring, but the VAR was involved again before the final whistle.

Anthony Taylor was sent to the touchline monitor and subsequently dismissed Santiago Gimenez for a rash lunge on Gianluca Mancini, with Feyenoord exiting the competition in frustrating fashion.

Feyenoord gained some semblance of revenge against Roma for last season's Europa Conference League final as they beat the Serie A side 1-0 in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

An insipid performance from Jose Mourinho's side saw them miss a first-half penalty, before Mats Wieffer struck the only goal of the game just after half-time.

Paulo Dybala was forced off after 25 minutes through what appeared to be a groin injury as Roma struggled to get anything going, while Feyenoord only threatened with half chances.

Roma were awarded a penalty just before half-time after an outswinging corner struck Mats Wieffer on the hand, but Giallorissi captain Lorenzo Pellegrini hit the left-hand post with his spot-kick.

The hosts were ahead just eight minutes into the second half after neat work from Oussama Idrissi on the left allowed him to find Wieffer on the edge of the box, and his volley into the turf bounced past Rui Patricio and into the far corner of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for Mourinho as he also lost Tammy Abraham to a shoulder injury, while Roger Ibanez was denied an equaliser by a goal-line clearance from Idrissi as Arne Slot's men clung on to take an advantage to the Stadio Olimpico next week.

Tottenham and Antonio Conte appears set to part ways imminently following the Italian's explosive rant after their 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday.

Conte's Spurs contract is due to expire at the end of this season and he has been linked with a return to Italy to be closer to his family.

Spurs have been eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup but remain firmly in the race to finish in the Premier League's top four, currently sitting fourth but fifth-placed Newcastle United are two points behind with two games in hand.

TOP STORY – SPURS TURN TO EINTRACHT BOSS IN SHOCK MOVE

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is looking to Eintracht Frankfurt head coach Oliver Glasner as a potential replacement for Antonio Conte, according to Bild.

The report claims Spurs have already made contact with the Austrian's representatives about the surprise move.

Glasner is yet to sign an extension on his deal from Frankfurt which expires in 2024. Tottenham have Glasner in their sights, having led the Germans to the Europa League title last season.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United and Newcastle United will battle it out to land the signature of Roma forward Paulo Dybala, reports Calciomercatoweb. The Argentinian is set to be available for a bargain price, given he has a release clause for overseas clubs to sign him for just £10.6million (€12m).

– Relevo claims Chelsea are working behind the scenes to make Joao Felix's loan stay at Stamford Bridge permanent beyond this season. The Portuguese joined the Blues in January on a six-month loan from Atletico Madrid, for whom he penned an extension until 2027 on the eve of that move.

– The Times claims Tottenham will demand £100m upfront for captain and star striker Harry Kane, who is out of contract in 2024. Manchester United have been linked with Kane, while Bayern Munich previously showed an interest, although that has reportedly waned.

Juventus' pursuit of Chelsea's midfielder N'Golo Kante has been dealt a blow, with the Frenchman unlikely to leave Stamford Bridge, reports Tuttomercatoweb.

– Football Transfers claims Arsenal will look to tie down Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard on a long-term deal until 2030. His deal expires in 2025.

Arsenal are interested in Salzburg's 22-year-old forward Noah Okafor, claims The Daily Mail. Tottenham and Milan are also keen on the Swiss talent.

Gianluca Mancini's thunderous strike moved Roma up to fourth place in Serie A with a 1-0 victory over Juventus at Stadio Olimpico on Sunday.

The centre-back's rasping second-half drive sealed three precious points, boosting Roma’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

After a week dominated by off-field headlines for head coach Jose Mourinho and former Juve playmaker Pablo Dybala, the Giallorossi claimed what could prove to be a huge victory.

Defeat will be a bitter pill to swallow for Massimiliano Allegri's Juve side after a performance in which they will feel they did enough to earn a point and Moise Kean was sent off in the closing stages, less than a minute after coming on, for kicking out at Mancini.

Knowing victory would edge them above Milan and into the top four on goal difference, Roma sought to impose themselves upon their visitors early on.

Yet Juventus were stubbornly defiant in front of a partisan crowd, and did their best to take the initiative themselves.

It was the Bianconeri who came closest to a breakthrough in the first half, when Adrien Rabiot saw his header saved by Wojciech Szczesny near the left post in the 43rd minute.

Emboldened by their support from the stands, the hosts broke the deadlock eight minutes after the interval, with Mancini letting fly from long range with his right foot and giving Szczesny no chance.

Juan Cuadrado almost levelled matters on the cusp of the hour with a superb free-kick that struck the post.

Juve were unable to salvage a point and Kean was shown a straight red card for lashing out at Mancini soon after coming on, adding insult to injury.

Declan Rice's West Ham contract is due to expire next year and he has rejected fresh terms, prompting interest from rival English clubs.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City have all been linked with the 24-year-old England international midfielder.

But the Hammers have rated Rice at £100million, which would be close to a British-record transfer fee.

TOP STORY – CITY TAKE POLE POSITION FOR RICE

Manchester City are leading the pursuit to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, reports TEAMtalk.

The report claims City have come into contention with a probable trio of off-season departures paving the way for the English champions to afford the move.

Kalvin Phillips, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva are all potentially on the way out at Etihad Stadium as City contemplate a midfield overhaul.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fichajes claims Manchester City have placed an €80m (£71m) price tag on Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva, with Barcelona interested in securing his services. However, the report claims that valuation will likely price out the Blaugrana.

Bayern Munich are set to hand Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting an improved contract from €5m a year to €10m including bonuses a year as part of an extension until 2024, reports Bild. The Cameroonian had been linked with Manchester United and Tottenham previously, and the deal may put to bed Bayern links with Spurs forward Harry Kane.

Barcelona have been linked with Manchester City's Julian Alvarez lately, but Football Insider claims Real Madrid are also keeping tabs on the Argentinian forward as they look for depth behind Karim Benzema.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Real Madrid are tracking Benfica's 19-year-old defender Antonio Silva, although he is contracted with the Portuguese club until 2027.

Manchester United and Atletico Madrid will battle it out to sign Roma forward Paulo Dybala, who has a €12m (£10.6m) release clause in his contract, according to Fichajes.

– Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar has declined Manchester United's advances and opted to sign with Eintracht Frankfurt, claims the Daily Express.

Napoli are looking to secure Chelsea and Newcastle United target Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to a new deal until 2028 to ward off interest, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

It was quite the performance on Sunday from Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi, who combined for all three goals as Paris Saint-Germain won 3-0 at Marseille in Ligue 1.

In the absence of the injured Neymar and with PSG trying to get back on track after a recent run of three consecutive defeats before a 4-3 win against Lille last week, the star duo took it upon themselves to rip apart Marseille.

As well as both achieving personal landmarks on Sunday – Mbappe scoring his 200th PSG goal and Messi scoring his 700th career goal – they also improved their already impressive record as a pair in the league this season.

The two standout players from December's exciting World Cup final between France and Argentina have proven there is no ill will from Qatar as they continue to lay chances on a plate for the other.

Mbappe and Messi have combined for 10 goals in Ligue 1, three more than any other two players in Europe's top-five leagues this season.

In fact, the second-most productive combination in France's top-flight also involves Messi, who has combined with Neymar for six goals, while Lille pair Jonathan David and Remy Cabella have five.

 

It is perhaps no surprise with Napoli seemingly strolling to the Scudetto in Italy that Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen sit in second place in Europe with seven goals, but it may raise eyebrows to learn that they are joined on the same amount by another Serie A duo of Roma's Paulo Dybala and Tammy Abraham.

Lazio's Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are the third-most efficient in Italy after providing one another with a total of five goals.

In the Premier League, it did not take a fortune-teller to predict that Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Haaland would work well together when Manchester City signed the Norwegian striker from Borussia Dortmund last year, and they lead the way in England with six combinations so far, ahead of Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, as well as Jack Harrison and Rodrigo Moreno at Leeds United (both five).

There are also three pairings in Europe's top 12 from the Bundesliga, though interestingly, none from Bayern Munich or Dortmund.

Borussia Monchengladbach's Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram and Bayer Leverkusen duo Jeremie Frimpong and Moussa Diaby have both combined for six goals, while surprise title contenders Union Berlin have been boosted by Jordan Siebatcheu and Sheraldo Becker producing five goals for one another.

Spain's LaLiga has not been quite as filled with potent partnerships, with three pairings tied on four goals each.

They include Ousmane Dembele and Robert Lewandowski of Barcelona, who have shone together at Camp Nou since the latter arrived from Bayern, while Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann have also managed four, as have Brais Mendez and Mikel Merino of Real Sociedad.

None can compare to the efficacy of Mbappe and Messi though, and while two of the world's best players continue to link up at the Parc des Princes, expect more and more magic moments from them.

Jose Mourinho says he was "humble enough to apologise" to referee Antonio Rapuano after accepting he deserved his latest red card in Roma's late 1-1 draw with Torino.

Roma head coach Mourinho was sent to the stands in the 88th minute with his side a goal down for repeatedly protesting decisions made by the official in Sunday's fiery contest.

Mourinho watched on from the Stadio Olimpico stands as Nemanja Matic rescued a point with a 94th-minute goal – Roma's latest at home in the league in 12 years.

The 59-year-old is no stranger to being given his marching orders and did not react kindly to being banished from the sidelines, but he later held his hands up for his actions.

"It was the right decision – my words to the referee deserved a red card," he told DAZN. "I spoke to him after and apologised, but I don’t want to talk about his performance. 

"I was humble enough to apologise, but I will leave his performance and the hypothetical influence on the match to you. 

"I don't want to talk about what we said, that was private. My words deserved a red card, but I will not judge the referee's performance."

Matic's dramatic late leveller came immediately after substitute Paulo Dybala had hit the frame of the goal, while former Torino striker Andrea Belotti missed an injury-time penalty just moments earlier in an exciting end to the contest.

 

Mourinho's side enter the World Cup break seventh in Serie A after winning just one of their past five matches.

The 10 points the Giallorossi have collected from their opening seven home league games this term is their lowest return since the 2005-06 season, when accruing eight.

Roma's disappointing form has coincided with Dybala's month-long absence from the side, with the Argentina international making a difference on his return against Torino.

"There are two games tonight – one until the 70th minute and one after," Mourinho said. "Until the 70th, Roma fans wanted to just go home.

"But in the final 20 minutes we created more, perhaps more than we have done in the last four or five games. Why? Easy, because Dybala came on.

"When you have a player like Paulo and he doesn't play, it's different. How many extra points would we have now if Dybala hadn't been injured? 

"The break is coming up, it will be the right moment for certain players to look at themselves and try a little self-criticism.

"Despite all these problems, we are a united group. A team that misses a penalty at the 92nd minute is usually dead, but not us, we kept going."

Roma host Bologna on their return to action on January 4, before travelling to reigning champions Milan four days later.

Paulo Dybala has overcome injury to take his place in the Argentina squad for the 2022 World Cup.

The Roma forward has not played since the Giallorossi's win against Lecce on October 9 after suffering a thigh problem, though reports had suggested he was close to a return.

That appears to be the case as Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni has named Dybala in his 26-man squad for Qatar, a list headlined by Lionel Messi in what is expected to be his final World Cup.

The 35-year-old has rediscovered his form at Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 12 goals in 18 games this season, and he will be joined in attack by the only Albiceleste player to equal him for goals in qualifying (seven), Lautaro Martinez, as well as Dybala, Angel Di Maria, Joaquin Correa, Julian Alvarez and Nicolas Gonzalez.

Like Dybala, Tottenham centre-back Cristian Romero has recovered from injury in time to make it, with Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez also on the plane.

However, Villarreal midfielder Giovani Los Celso has failed to make the cut after recently sustaining a hamstring injury.

Impressive 21-year-old midfielder Enzo Fernandez earns his place in the squad after a good start to life at Benfica, while Brighton and Hove Albion's Alexis Mac Allister has also been rewarded for his form in the Premier League.

The two-time World Cup winners begin their campaign on November 22 against Saudi Arabia, before facing Mexico and Poland in their other Group C games.

Argentina squad:

Franco Armani (River Plate), Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), Geronimo Rulli (Villarreal); Marcos Acuna (Sevilla), Juan Foyth (Villarreal), Lisandro Martinez (Manchester United), Nahuel Molina (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Montiel (Sevilla), Nicolas Otamendi (Benfica), German Pezzella (Real Betis), Cristian Romero (Tottenham), Nicolas Tagliafico (Lyon); Rodrigo De Paul (Atletico Madrid), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Alejandro Gomez (Sevilla), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton and Hove Albion), Exequiel Palacios (Bayer Leverkusen), Leandro Paredes (Juventus), Guido Rodriguez (Real Betis); Julian Alvarez (Manchester City), Joaquin Correa (Inter), Angel Di Maria (Juventus), Paulo Dybala (Roma), Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina), Lautaro Martinez (Inter), Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain).

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Paulo Dybala's absence after Roma slipped to a 1-0 derby defeat against Lazio, but revealed his hope the Argentina international will return before the World Cup.

Felipe Anderson capitalised on an error from Roger Ibanez as Maurizio Sarri's team clinched a crucial win over their arch rivals on Sunday, moving to third in the Serie A table.

While Lazio were without influential duo Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile at the Stadio Olimpico, Roma only managed two shots on target as they toiled in the absence of Dybala – their top goalscorer with five league goals this season.

"We talked about Milinkovic-Savic and Immobile, we didn't talk about Dybala," Mourinho said at a post-match news conference.

"I think he is more important, because he's the one that assists us with goals. When certain players are missing, we go into difficulty."

Dybala has been absent since October 9 after sustaining a hamstring injury, but Mourinho hopes he will return against Torino next Sunday, in what would also be a boost for Argentina ahead of their trip to Qatar.

"Obviously he wants to go to the World Cup, it is difficult to say no to that," Mourinho told DAZN. "If there is a good evolution of his injury, we hope to have him back on Sunday against Torino."

Roma have suffered narrow defeats to several of Serie A's leading lights recently, but Mourinho believes they have not always got what they deserved.

Asked about the Giallorossi's poor record against top opponents, Mourinho added: "Roma lost those games, in my opinion, undeservedly. 

"Atalanta made one shot on goal and won 1-0, Napoli had difficulties like never before and won with a great goal from [Victor] Osimhen, and Lazio won with a half-goal. 

"I think the game they played was the consequence of being 1-0 up, in a low block, compact. In our cultures, it is said that this was a cynical, intelligent game. In England, people would go home after 20 minutes.

"The playing time was definitely very low, the intensity and continuity of the game was very low. We dominated, but there was a lack of creativity."

Jose Mourinho says the warnings against a hectic pre-World Cup schedule went unheeded after Paulo Dybala suffered an injury that has cast doubt over his participation in Qatar.

Roma were dealt a huge blow during Sunday's 2-1 Serie A win over Lecce, with Dybala limping out of the match with a thigh injury immediately after scoring a penalty.

In the aftermath of that victory, Mourinho said Dybala – who has scored five Serie A goals this season – could miss the rest of 2022.

While subsequent reports have suggested four to six weeks may be a more realistic timeframe for Dybala's recovery, even an absence of that length could represent a blow to the attacker's hopes of representing Argentina at the World Cup.

Speaking ahead of Roma's Europa League trip to Real Betis, Mourinho lamented the effects of a congested fixture schedule ahead of the tournament.

He said in a press conference: "It's something we have been talking about for a long time. 

"When we talked about World Cup four or five years ago, this was said. Now we live it and we live the situation. 

"I learned to cry less than I cried before. I learned to live with the reality of things. 

"You can say that you play too much or say that the richer clubs are privileged. There are the rich, the poor and the less rich. 

"The poor play once a week, the rich can play every day by changing players, and the less rich are those most in difficulty because they play as much as the rich, but with less chance to change and I'm living this situation."

Roma suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Betis last week, and are in need of a victory after taking just three points from their first three games in Group C.

Mourinho called on others to step up in Dybala's absence as he told Sky Sport Italia: "I expect more from the team and even before Dybala's injury, we never played the most creative players all together. 

"Now, without Dybala, it will be even more difficult. But I trust the work and discipline of our game, I'm confident that tomorrow we will be able to make a result."

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