Spalletti revival at Roma to continue with seventh successive win versus Viola
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | March 3, 2016
Roma v Fiorentina
- Serie A
- Friday, March 4th
- Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
- Stadio Olimpico, Rome
- Live on BT Sport Europe
Giallorossi roaring under Spalletti once more
Since returning to Roma to start his second spell in charge, Luciano Spalletti has lost just one of eight Serie A matches, steering the Giallorossi to six successive victories.
That is why Coral make the Eternal City outfit strong 21/20 favourites to keep up momentum with another win on Friday over Fiorentina. Paulo Sousa’s Viola have the privilege of being on TV for the second time this week, having held Napoli to a draw.
A repeat result at the Stadio Olimpico is a 12/5 with another 1-1 scoreline at 11/2, while the Florentine team rated 13/5 outsiders to upset hosts Roma.
El Shaarawy rated in Rome
Giallorossi winter window loan signing Stephan El Shaarawy is back in Italy after an ineffectual loan spell at Monaco, yet has already silenced his critics. Still owned by AC Milan, the 23-year-old attack has struck four times for the Romans in five Serie A outings.
At a time when Azzurri national boss Antonio Conte needs a striker in-form ahead of Euro 2016, this purple patch is invaluable for club and country. El Shaarawy thus starts as 7/5 favourite from among Roma’s anytime scorer options.
Better at 9/2 to break the deadlock, however, El Shaarawy was first to net in the Giallorossi’s last game away to Empoli. As the left winger of a front three, he will look to stretch Sousa’s side on the break from the first whistle.
Salah back on song
Another player to have benefited from Spalletti’s Roma return is former Chelsea wideman Mohamed Salah. Used down the other flank to excellent effect, the Egypt international’s form is even more impressive than that of El Shaarawy, with whom he shares some heritage.
Sensational Salah has five in as many matches, and that makes his 13/8 anytime price very tempting indeed. He was also on target in the previous meeting, as the Giallorossi won 2-1 in Florence, so shows no compunction about netting against his former club.
Belgium midfielder Radja Nainggolan may be missing with a calf problem for Roma, though, which is a pity as he is also in that scored in this fixture before bracket.
Babacar worth a wager for Viola
Senegalese striker Khouma Babacar has averaged a goal every three games for Fiorentina this term, so represents a realistic threat at 13/5 in the anytime market. Consistency from Sousa’s other attacking options is lacking, though.
Nikola Kalinic, a flop at Blackburn Rovers, is a frustrating player to watch. The Croatia target man can, on his day, deliver, scoring the only Serie A hat-trick of the season. For punters who think he can recapture such form, take 2/1 anytime on Kalinic finding the target.
Slovenia’s Josip Ilicic also has a dozen Viola goals in all competitions, so is slightly better value at 21/10 in the same market. It is hard to see Fiorentina getting a result a Rome here, though they may score.
The Giallorossi have conceded four in their last six so, backing a home win with both teams netting at 16/5 enhances the outright match price for Roma considerably.
Coral’s top tip: Take a terrific 13/8 on offer for Salah to score anytime.