What: Italian Serie A
Who: Roma vs Fiorentina
When: Sunday 8th December, 2013, at 11:30 UK Time
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy


Four successive back-to-back draws have meant that Roma have conceded the league leadership in favour of reigning champions Juventus. Realising that they face an important trip to AC Milan the following week to face the Rossoneri, Rudi Garcia’s side must return to winning ways against Fiorentina in order to get back on track and inject life into their title aspirations.

The Giallorossi’s recent form comes as a surprise, considering their draws proceeded important wins, including victories over Napoli, Inter and Lazio. However, the 2001 Scudetto winners will have history on their side here, as they have won four out of the last six games that pitted them against Fiorentina. Even more so, their results at the Stadio Olimpico against La Viola have been impressive, managing to score three goals or more in four of the past six outings.

Despite recent setbacks, Roma still hold the best defensive record in Serie A, having conceded just four times after 14 fixtures, with only Torino, Sassuolo, Atalanta and Parma managing to slot in goals past goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis.

Good Run

Behind league leaders Juventus, no other Italian team in Serie A have enjoyed a better run than Fiorentina in the last six fixtures. Four wins in six have only been matched by last season’s runners-up Napoli, and the Lilies will want to carry on after their hard fought win over Cagliari last weekend with a victory away from home in Italy’s capital.

After suffering defeat against Udinese, Fiorentina were in need of a reaction in order to avoid adding further insult to injury. A difficult triumph against Cagliari provided the tonic, something defender Nenad Tomovic greatly appreciated: “The game was especially important considering we got the three points”, commented the Serbian, declaring that the result was crucial ahead of the meeting against Roma.

“It's important to us because they are a direct competitor for the top places; with the three points we are more relaxed and we can prepare ourselves in the best way."

A setback for Fiorentina is the fact that they are depleted in attack; with Mario Gomez a long-term absentee and David Pizarro a doubt for the game.


Recent form

Roma 1-1 Sassuolo (10/11; Serie A)
Roma 0-0 Cagliari (25/11; Serie A)
Atalanta 1-1 Roma (01/12; Serie A)

Udinese 1-0 Fiorentina (24/11; Serie A)
Pacos de Ferreira 0-0 Fiorentina (28/11; Europa League)
Fiorentina 4-3 Verona (02/12; Serie A)

Key absences

Roma: Mattia Destro (doubt); Daniele De Rossi (doubt); Maicon (doubt); Marco Boriello (doubt); Federico Balzaretti (doubt); Vasilis Torosidis (doubt); Francesco Totti

Fiorentina: Manuel Pasqual (doubt); David Pizarro (doubt); Mario Gomez; Ahmed Hegazy

Players to watch

Roma – Adem Ljajic: Ljajic will be meeting his former side when he takes to the pitch in Roma’s colours. One of the best prospects of Serbian football, he is carrying on his good form with the Giallorossi, hoping that his former team-mates won’t know how to slow him down.

Fiorentina – Giuseppe Rossi: The New Jersey-born striker is enjoying his time at his new club after making the switch from Villarreal last summer. With 12 goals in 14 Serie A game so far this term, he is vying hard for a place in the Italy squad that will travel to Brazil next summer.

Match Prediction

Roma’s recent run makes them in dire need of a win. They have managed to get the best of Fiorentina at the Stadio Olimpico in recent times and a triumph would surely get them back in the title race as they hope to slash the difference with Juventus. Expect the home side to take the spoils at the end of the day.

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