Soccer Picks: Roma v Fiorentina Serie A Tips

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 4:37 PM GMT

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013 4:37 PM GMT

Roma host Fiorentina at the weekend as the bookmakers’ favourites but after a string of lacklustre draws can sports bettors expect value in a home win or will backing the upset prove to be the savvy soccer pick?

Roma continue to draw

Roma enter the weekend’s rounds as the sportsbooks favourites at -118 to win outright, but a string of draws that saw them dethroned at the top of the table by Juventus is cause for concern, belying any value on the home win.

Roma are without a win in four games and have only managed to score a goal a game during this run of form – save for a scoreless draw to Cagliari. Twice they failed to hold on to goal leads, allowing late equalisers to spoil their stoic defensive performances. In the last lap however, it was Roma on the back foot and forced to chase at least the point for the draw. Which the Giallorossi (all credit to them) did accomplish on a late equaliser, but truth be told, it was Atalanta that committed the egregious error of complacency as they appeared to be playing to protect the goal lead in the second half instead of trying to ensure victory would truly be theirs with a second goal. 

Fiorentina loom dangerous

Though still the only unbeaten side in Serie A this run of form doesn’t augur well for Roma ahead of their fixture with Fiorentina, ranked fifth on the back of an 8-3-3 record (4-1-2 away) and 24 points. What makes Fiorentina, listed at disingenuous +320 soccer odds, particularly dangerous is their crisp offensive-minded football, which is clearly exposing on the counterattack (hence the high goal against tally) but has them striking at equal (or more) regularity. In fact, only two games this season saw Fiorentina goalless – a scoreless draw to Lazio and a 1-0 defeat to Udinese.

Fiorentina have won three of their last five home and away games in domestic action including a riveting 4-3 win over Verona at the weekend. What’s more they’ve managed to score at least two goals in each win, one of which was a clean sheet over Milan.

Roma vs. Fiorentina betting tips and picks:

Despite the sublime start on the season under new coach Rudi Garcia and being one of a few teams in Europe’s top leagues to remain undefeated thus far in the season, Roma’s shortcomings are beginning to come to light. The most concerning is their perceived lack of depth, which has been exacerbated in proportion to a growing list of injuries particularly to their attacking frontline since the early months of the new season.

The biggest hit to their starting XI is arguably the injury to Totti. In hindsight, the veteran and captain was clearly integral to Roma’s flying start, which saw them reel off eight straight victories, maintain seven clean sheets (only Parma scored against them) and score no less than two goals per game. Since he was carted off their attacking might has diminished to barely a goal a game.

Totti is still out and isn’t expected to return until mid-December~ish and while they’ve managed as best as they could without him (they are still undefeated after all), the longer he stays on the sidelines, it increasingly becomes a matter of time before they do slip up and perhaps sooner than later. Perhaps even against Fiorentina, a side that scores seemingly at will (nine goals in their last five games) and won’t be intimidated by the Giallorossi in the nation’s capital.

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Soccer Betting Verdict: Time is running out on Roma’s undefeated run in Serie A. Some would say it’s well past its sell-by-date, if the last few tepid accounts were any indication that is. What’s more, Fiorentina is a side that has the potential to exploit Roma’s weakness up front. Granted defence has let Fiorentina down, lending a hand to their inconsistency from match-to-match. But fortunately (for them at least), Roma’s offense looms as threatening as a cupcake right now. Barely able to score that it might not even challenge Fiorentina’s defence at all.

It’s always prudent to back a winning (undefeated) side. Positive results breed confidence, as well becomes a bit of a habit really not to lose. That said this is one occasion where backing the upset is not only tempting because of rather disingenuous soccer odds but also because it is notionally possible. Fiorentina have nothing to lose and all the flair right now that it would be a grievous oversight to not take them on your soccer picks. Well, we’re plumping down to a Fiorentina win at +320 at Bet365. What about you?

Soccer Free Picks: Fiorentina to win outright +320 at Bet365
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