UEFA Europa League: AS Roma vs. Fiorentina Soccer Odds, Preview, Prediction and Picks

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 8:40 PM GMT

It will all come down to this Leg 2 between host AS Roma and Fiorentina in their UEFA Europa League Round of 16 series Thursday. After a 1-1 draw in Leg 1 a week ago, is a Draw at +240 odds worth a pick at Stadio Artemio Franchi in Rome here? Why not.

Odds Overview
AS Roma vs. Fiorentina, Thursday 18:00 (Fox Sports 2 USA, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports GO, ESPN Deportes (US); BT Sport 1 (UK), 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT):

AS Roma welcomes fellow Serie A side Fiorentina to Olimpico in Rome on Thursday for Leg 2 of their UEFA Europa League Round of 16, which headed in is all tied up, 1-1 on aggregate after the draw in Leg 1 last Thursday at Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence, with AS Roma possessing that valuable Road goal heading in. Soccer Odds makers have made host AS Roma secure +112 favorites in the Three-Way (Winner) odds marketplace (5Dimes) with visiting Fiorentina a +283 underdog and the Draw priced at an appetizing +244. On the Pick ‘Em line at 5Dimes, AS Roma is Pick -205, with Fiorentina Pick +178—a good type of wager to make if you hate losing on Draws and want to get your money back should that occur. AS Roma is also available at -½ +107, with Fiorentina +½ -122 (5Dimes), as well as at AS Roma is -½, -1 +148, with Fiorentina +½, +1 -163 (5Dimes).

The Total Goals odds for the match is 2½ Under -128 (Over +113, 5Dimes), while the Both Teams To Score prop bet has the Yes priced at -125 (No +110, bet365). The To Advance lines for this Leg 2 are AS Roma -220, Fiorentina +180 (5Dimes) while the Correct Score (below) of 1-1 (after 90 minutes plus Injury Time) would pay +650 at BetVictor. A Totals Prop with a lowered Total of 2 goals sees the Over juiced at -166 and the Under at +146 (5Dimes).

 

ACF Fiorentina
Fiorentina (13-9-6 Home in Serie A, 39 GF-29 GA) has rallied after a nice start in Italian Serie A to now be in 5th place and in contention for either a UEFA Champions League or Europa League berth next season, and the Viola (the Purples) have been especially good of late in all competitions, going 10-5-1 over their L16, the lone loss a 4-0 shellacking by Lazio three games ago in Serie A play. Here in UEFA Europa League play, Fiorentina’s overall form has been pretty nice too (WWWDWDDWD) with Federico Bernardeschi (2 goals), Marko Marin (2 goals), Juan Manuel Vargas (1 goal) and Josip Ilicic (1 goal) providing scoring, although Chelsea-loanee Marin has now been shipped to Anderlecht in the Belgian Pro League. The Viola aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, and often play tight, low-scoring affairs behind GK Neto, and will hopefully look to Babacar Khouma (7 goals in Serie A, Anytime Goalscorer +200, SkyBet), Ilicic (+450, bet365), central defender Gonzalo Rodríguez (5 goals, +750, bet365), Joaquín (+600, bet365), Alessandro Diamanti (+240, bet365) and Juan Vargas (+500, Betfred) and others for that much-needed Road goal to begin with here in Leg 2, although Babacar is nursing a Thigh injury. In that aforementioned 1-1 Leg 1 in Florence—in which host Fiorentina had 15 shots, but only 2 on Goal while AS Roma mustered 9 shots, but 4 were on target—Ilicic (+450) opened up the scoring following a Daniele De Rossi slip, but Roma’s Seydou Keita came through with the 77th-minute equalizer on a PK for the visitors to set the stage for the critical leg. Besides Babacar (Thigh) being listed as Doubtful for this game on the UEFA.com website, as is talented striker Mario Gómez (-187, bet365), who has been nursing an Ankle injury and is listed as Injured and out for this—but there are Anytime Goalscorer odds for both Babacar and Gómez, so either one or both’s inclusion would’t surprise. Doubtful just doesn’t mean ‘doubtful’ in some circles. Bernardeschi (knee) and Giuseppe Rossi (knee) are also set to miss this match while Stefan Savic (thigh) and GK Ciprian Tatarusanu (head) are both listed as that infamous ‘Doubtful’ for Manager Vincenzo Montella and Fiorentina on Thursday. We’ll see who plays here and pas further judgment on their use of the word ‘doubtful.’ When it is ‘doubtful’ I will make a soufflé for dinner, I definitely don’t make the soufflé. It is truly doubtful that this ‘Doubtful’ dilemma may change. If enough sportsbooks have Anytime Goalscorer odds on a player deemed ‘Doubtful’ heading into a match as part of the UEFA Europa League Odds, then the sports gambler should research as much as possible and assume the player or players might actually start or get minutes in the contest. It’s probably always better to be safe than sorry in this respect.

 

AS Roma
AS Roma (13-11-3, 38 GF-21 GA) and manager Rudi García sit in 2nd place in Italy’s top flight of soccer, but at 14 points behind Juventus (64 points), the two best things the Giallorossi (the (Yellow-Reds) can do from this point on are to qualify for another UEFA Champions League spot next season and try to go out and win this UEFA Europa League this year. And this team can if it can generate enough offense. Here against Fiorentina, Roma will be without the services of suspended MF Radja Nainggolan and injured CB Leandro Castán (head), while captain Francesco Totti (thigh), RB Maicon (thigh), striker Víctor Ibarbo (thigh) and Seydou Doumbia (thigh) are all listed as Doubtful (It’s back), so if you have invented a cure for Thigh Injuries, please report to that country in the Mediterranean shaped like a boot so you can miraculously cure these athletes and make your millions and sip Sangria and eat truffles into your Golden Years, Billy. Pump pump. Here versus Fiorentina, Roma will look to striker Gervinho (Anytime Goalscorer, +162, bet365), Adam Ljajic (+200, bet365), Juan Iturbe (+187, bet365), Ibarbo (+230, bet365), FC Nitra-loanee Tomáš Vestenický (+240, bet365), Alessandro Florenzi (+275, bet365), Miralem Pjanic (+350, bet365), Kevin Strootman (+400, Sky Bet), Daniele De Rossi (+450, bet365) and Radja Nainggolan (+500, Sky Bet) for goals. Despite Roma’s penchant for playing lockdown defense and stellar GK Lukasz Skorupski, the Giallorossi have more scoring options than Fiorentina, and with this second leg at Olimpico, Roma will have also have that as an advantage as well as the psychology and mathematical reality of that somewhat late Keita Road goal, which is something to consider for your Soccer Picks.

 

Series Trends and Best Betting Approaches
AS Roma is unbeaten in the L7 overall meetings between these two Italian sides (6-1-0), outscoring the Viola, 12-6 in the process, but the Giallorossi have recorded just 1 win here at Home at Olimpico in their L6 games (1-3-2), while Fiorentina has never beaten an Italian club in European competition. In all overall competitions, AS Roma is 52-59-48 (194 GF-191 GA) against Fiorentina, but that’s pretty meaningless when trying to be applied here. This Leg 2 should play out similarly to Leg 1, a very tight game, but the Viola do know that they’ll be chasing that Road goal coming in and that if the 1-1 aggregate scoreline remains the same, the visitors will not be advancing to the Round of 8. But Fiorentina (25/1 to win Europa League, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) is a tough team in really good form right now (10-5-1 L16 overall), as mentioned, has scored in 5 of its L6 trips to Olimpico and the Viola have scored in 13 of their L14 overall fixtures in Europa League play. And with AS Roma (15/2, tourney odds favorites) having now gone an incredible 21 consecutive games in European competition without registering a Clean Sheet, a Draw and the Both Teams To Score prop look pretty appealing here in what should again be a low-scoring, 50/50 type (possession) battle once again, despite the Rome site and stronger Roma attack. This one could go down to the wire, with a mistake possibly being the difference and it feels like this match could be determined really late on, in Extra Time or in a dramatic PK shootout maybe, with the hosts AS Roma somehow finding a way to move on in this tournament.

 

Final Score Prediction: AS Roma 1 Fiorentina 1 (AS Roma advances in ET or PKs)

Soccer Pick: Draw +246, Under 2½ -128 (5Dimes)

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