First entertains second in Italy this weekend as one of the title favourites Roma, travel to Tuscany to face league leadersFiorentina.
LA VIOLA DOWN, BUT NOT OUT IN NAPOLI
A fabulous match last weekend at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples saw Fiorentina lose for only the second time this season but their Portuguese coach Paolo Sousa remained upbeat after the game, declaring that his side were unlucky to lose out 2-1 in a contest that was a great advert for Italy’s top-flight. The best sports betting sites currently quote them at *10.00 to lift the trophy next May and whilst that may be a more realistic view on things, for now, supporters at the StadioArtemioFranchi are enjoying watching some of the best football in the peninsula. A 2-1 home defeat to Lech Poznan in the Europa League on Thursday evening will not dampen their spirits ahead of Sunday’s huge game.
ROMA COMMIT DEFENSIVE SUICIDE IN GERMANY
On Tuesday evening in the Bayer Arena in Germany, Roma displayed both sides of their character in a thrilling 4-4 Champions League draw against Bayer Leverkusen. Two goals down early on, Rudi Garcia’s men reacted magnificently by scoring four unanswered goals to lead 4-2 going into the closing minutes of the game. What happened next is typical of this talented but infuriatingly inconsistent team, as they allowed the home side to get back into the game to head back to the Italian capital with only one point. A trip to the league leaders is probably the last thing that Garcia wanted after that exhausting midweek confrontation but this is Roma, where the only thing you can predict is their unpredictability.
Sousa will revert back to his strongest formation for the visit of the Giallorossi. Spanish midfielder Borja Valero and his Bosnian counterpart Josip Iličić will return to the midfield and impressive Croatian striker Nikola Kalinić will spearhead the attack once again. Brazilian defender Gilberto and Montenegrin midfielder Marko Bakić are unavailable to Sousa due to injury.
Having been sidelined since the end of September, Roma look set to welcome back their big summer signing, striker EdinDžeko, to the starting XI. The Bosnian hitman is priced on the best online betting sites at *2.50 to score on his return on Sunday. Young German defender Antonio Rüdiger looks to be the biggest casualty from Tuesday’s collapse in Leverkusen, with his place going to Brazilian Leandro Castan. Captain Daniele De Rossi is just one booking away from a domestic suspension. Club talisman Francesco Totti remains unavailable due to injury.
PROBABLE STARTING XI’S
Fiorentina (3-4-2-1) Tătăruşanu; Astori, Rodriguez, Roncaglia; Alonso, Badelj, Vecino, Błaszczykowski; Borja Valero, Iličić; Kalinić
Roma (4-3-3) Szczęsny; Digne, Manolas, Castan, Florenzi; De Rossi, Pjanic, Nainggolan; Gervinho, Salah, Džeko
HEAD TO HEAD
Fiorentina have not had their goal breached at the ArtemioFranchi in the league for six consecutive games. Roma have only kept one clean sheet all season, against Frosinone in the early weeks of the campaign. There have been over 2.5 goals scored in the Giallorossi’s last five Serie A matches. Last season’s corresponding fixture finished 1-1 with Iličić giving Fiorentina an early lead, before Seydou Keita levelled late on for the visitors.
Fiorentina 2.50 Draw 3.40 Roma 2.80
*odds courtesy of Bet365
Steve Mitchell (@barafundler)