Fiorentina suffered Coppa Italia heartbreak in midweek and will now look to pick themselves up for a tricky Serie A game against Europa League finalists AS Roma on Saturday.

This red-hot race for Europe continues in Serie A this weekend as Stadio Artemio Franchi pits together Fiorentina and AS Roma, the two sides that have already booked a place in a European final this season.

Fiorentina, for one, usually tends to challenge for the lower-tier European places in Serie A. Things, though, have not been particularly great for the Florence outfit in Serie A this campaign. But they have done extremely well in Europe. Vincenzo Italiano’s side’s league season is effectively over; their form has dropped off.

There has been just one league win in four ahead of their upcoming UEFA Europa Conference League final against Premier League side West Ham United. Fiorentina are currently 11th in the Serie A table at the moment with 50 points from 36 matches. Last season, they finished seventh in the standings, and this campaign, they could push up to eighth.

They played out a 1-1 draw with Torino away from home in Serie A last weekend, and the Viola need to return to winning ways following their painful midweek Coppa Italia final defeat by Inter.

Meanwhile, this season is shaping up to be an exciting one for Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma as the Portuguese boss hunts a trophy and European qualification. Juventus’s drop back down the table due to a ten-point deduction being imposed for financial impropriety following the overturning of their previous ban.

However, that is unlikely to impact Roma too much; they have a point advantage over seventh-place Juventus and are in a strong position to claim a top-six spot but could be considered an outsider for a Champions League place.

A top-four finish is probably out of Mourinho’s reach, and he will be putting all his eggs on their Europa League final date with Sevilla as a back-door option to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Domestically, though, there is still work to be done, and Roma’s current record of no victories and four draws in their previous six league games does not inspire optimism, as they were held to yet another draw against Salernitana at the weekend.

The eyes of both sets of players will be justifiably on the bigger fish as Roma head to Budapest and Fiorentina face the Hammers in Prague. But the respective coaches will want their sides to enter European ties with positive winning momentum.

Team News & Tactics

ACF Fiorentina

Fiorentina have no fresh injury concerns ahead of this tie, with injured goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu is Viola’s only absentee. It’ll be interesting to see what line-up Vicenzo Italiano will field here. There is no hope of European qualification via Serie A, so he may rest some key players.

The Viola are likely to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Backup goalkeeper Michele Cerofolini will start in goal for the hosts. He will be protected by a back four of Aleksa Terzic, Igor Julio, Lucas Martinez Quarta, and Lorenzo Venuti.

Alfred Duncan and Rolando Mandragora will anchor the double-midfield pivot. Josip Brekalo and Jonathan Ikone are in line to come into the attack, with Riccardo Saponara and Riccardo Sottil tipped to drop to the bench. Similarly, Antonin Barak will replace Giacomo Bonaventura in the number 10 role.

Luka Jovic could replace Arthur Cabral up top despite missing some golden opportunities in the Coppa Italia final, and the Serbian target man will be looking to score in back-to-back league outings after finding the net just five times in the top flight so far.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Cerofolini; Terzic, Julio, Martinez, Venuti; Duncan, Mandragora; Brekalo, Barak, Ikone; Jovic

AS Roma

AS Roma continues to be hampered by injuries. Jose Mourinho will be without the services of Leonardo Spinazzola and Marash Kumbulla until next season due to injuries, with star player Paulo Dybala also joining Rick Karsdorp on the sidelines this weekend. Mady Camara (muscular), captain Lorenzo Pellegrini (ankle), and Georginio Wijnaldum (knock) are also doubts for Mourinho.

However, with the big game coming up, the veteran boss will rotate his team significantly. Romaas entire starting XI against the Florence-based side is anyone’s guess. But it should be a mix of regulars and youngsters.

One place we expect to see rotation is on the wings, where Filippo Missori and Nicola Zalewski will start in place of Zeki Celik and Stephan El Shaarawy, with the latter expected to be pushed up the pitch in an attacking midfielder role after finding the back of the net on his return from injury against Salernitana.

Rui Patricio is expected to start in between the sticks once more, with Mourinho sticking with his preferred 3-4-2-1 formation here. Diego Llorente is set to start in the back three alongside Chris Smalling and Roger Ibanez.

It is possible to see youngsters Benjamin Tahirovic and Edoardo Bove anchoring the midfield if Bryan Cristante is rested. This match should also present an opportunity for Ola Solbakken and Andrea Belotti to lead the attack, like last weekend against Salernitana.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Smalling, Llorente, Ibanez; Missori, Bove, Tahirovic, Zalewski; El Shaarawy, Solbakken; Belotti

Key Stats

  • AS Roma have been much more successful historically with 36 wins, 15 draws, and 13 defeats in the last 64 meetings with the Viola.
  • AS Roma have not won any of their last five Serie A games.
  • There have been fewer than three goals scored in six of AS Roma’s last seven games.
  • Fiorentina are also unbeaten in their last seven home matches in the top division.
  • Only one of Roma’s last seven matches has produced over 2.5 goals.

Player to Watch

Edoardo Bove

The emerging Italian midfielder, who recently turned 21 and scored the decisive goal that pushed Roma into another European final, is in talks to extend his contract with AS Roma. And it would be nothing more than what he deserves for his incredible breakout season.

Embed from Getty Images

A born and bred Roman, he has been the reason why Roma’s midfield is going from strength to strength towards the second half of the season. Strong and versatile, the Primavera graduate has become a key part of Jose Mourinho’s first team rotations.

While Bove started out as a box-to-box midfielder with an eye for attack, similar to Bryan Cristante, his recent exploits in the senior squad have confirmed that Mourinho sees him in a more defensive role moving forward. His ball-winning ability has become his calling card, and while he can succeed anywhere in the midfield, he excels in that deep-lying area. He will once again be looking to show what he’s all about in this game.


ACF Fiorentina 0-0 AS Roma

Fiorentina have nothing to play for in Serie A, maybe a little deflated after their cup defeat, and may find it hard to get motivated for the league fixture against AS Roma. The visitors could still finish in the top four. But their recent form in the league has been really poor. With both sides prioritising their European commitments, a low-scoring affair should perhaps be expected.

The game may be decided by a single goal. But there is a strong possibility that these sides will cancel each other out, especially if neither side can get out of first gear, and a scoreless draw could well be on the cards in Florence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I agree to the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.