On Friday night, Roma will face Fiorentina as the big games in Serie A show no sign of letting up. The two are level on points, unbeaten in six and looking strong after challenging winters. The nation’s capital should play host to a good game of football, with both teams freely finding the net and neither likely to be over-the-moon with a point. The third and final Champions League spot will be fiercely contested and remains the realistic aim of Roma, Fiorentina and both Milan sides.
Roma manager Luciano Spalletti finds himself in an interesting position. Maligned by fans for offering icon Francesco Totti the cold shoulder, his Roma side have marched round the country collecting wins and climbing the league table. For as long as this form continues the unrest will be kept at bay but a blow at home to Fiorentina could be an excuse for fans to rock the boat.
As phenomenal a player has Totti has been – not to mention unwaveringly loyal – Roma’s options in the final third are impressive. They aren’t short on penetration with Mohammed Salah, Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko backed by Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan. What the team lack in a genuine world class talent is made up for in squad depth and Spalletti can turn to his bench with confidence.
The clamour for Totti is heightened, however, with Roma’s lack of home grown Italians currently available – a problem Fiorentina can identify with. It’s possible just two Italians will line-up at the Olimpico tomorrow night, something formerly unheard of in the Italian league.
Roma have finally stopped drawing matches and are good value at 21/20 on the Betfect site. I seem to back them every week at the moment but they are yet to let me down. For a safer bet find BTTS at 8/11, an outcome that came in after just seven minutes in Fiorentina’s last game.
Despite scoring just two goals in their last five, Bologna won’t be too disappointed with their points return and their defence dealt well with the threats of Juventus and Fiorentina. They should have enough to see off Carpi at home on Sunday at 17/20, even with the 19th place side scrapping for survival.
A game I’m looking forward to is Sassuolo vs. Milan. Last weekend Sassuolo were impressive when defeating Lazio 2-0, a result which helped land my double chance bet. Coppa Italia finalists AC Milan will be a different proposition and over 2.5 goals is an attractive price at 11/10. The match is also a candidate for a draw and could give an accumulator a boost at 11/5.
This week brought us a shock match result in the Coppa Italia, Inter earning extra-time with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Juventus and the previously unbeatable Gianluigi Buffon. However, an hour later Turin was smiling again with Juventus departing 5-3 winners on penalties. The match result was a wake-up call but the Old Lady are an appealing 11/20 to win away to Atalanta.
Lazio were great against Galatasaray last Thursday but then poor at home to Sassuolo. They travel to Torino on Sunday lunchtime and I’m calling a home win at 5/4.
Win Treble @8.53
Goals Treble @
Match Prediction @ 14/1
(Odds correct as of 03/03)