Recent Roma record will see Fiorentina flounder in the Eternal City
Rudi Garcia’s Roma are rated as most likely challengers to the domestic dominance of Italian champions Juventus by Coral, at 5/2 to snatch the Scudetto from the Old Lady (13/10).
While the Turin giants are under new management, with divisive figure Max Allegri succeeding the elevated Antonio Conte (now Italy coach after resigning from Juve), the Eternal City outfit and first opponents Fiorentina are benefiting from stability in their dugouts.
Vincenzo Montella embarks upon his third season in charge of the Florentine team, but has not found the Stadio Olimpico a happy hunting ground. Even hosting Roma has been turbulent for the coach, who had the nickname ‘the Little Aeroplane’ as a player.
Fiorentina have lost all five meetings in all competitions against the capital club since Montella took charge, and that is why they are 4/1 outsiders for a shock victory. Garcia’s Giallorossi, who tasted defeat in just five league games last season, are odds-on 8/11 favourites to kick off the campaign with a win. It’s 13/5 for a draw, but that isn’t likely, as just one of the last 15 meetings has finished all square.
English audiences, and Chelsea fans in particular, may want to watch Roma striker Mattia Destro closely, as the 23-year-old is linked with a late summer switch to Stamford Bridge. Odds of 13/8 say the Italy attacker will be on target anytime.
Destro was Garcia’s top scorer last term with 13 and, should he stay in the Eternal City, then Manchester City supporters will judge his display here as a potential warning sign. The Premier League champions will play Roma home and away in the Champions League group stage this autumn.
Exciting £20m Argentine attacker Juan Itrube could also catch the eye and, with Ashley Cole likely to forge a left-sided partnership with him, odds of 19/10 for a competitive debut Giallorossi goal anytime are tasty.
The links with Chelsea continue as Fiorentina have loaned Marko Marin in from the Blues, and he will be auditioning for a permanent transfer as Jose Mourinho clearly does not see the German as part of his plans. Odds of 4/1 say he will score a debut goal.
Montella will be happy to have first-choice striker Mario Gomez, recalled by World Cup winning coach Joachim Low following Miroslav Klose’s international retirement, fit and ready. It’s 21/10 on him being on target anytime. Should Gomez and Rossi rack up goals, then expect odds on Fiorentina scooping the Serie A title to come in from 20/1.