Serie A Betting 21/22: Roma vs Fiorentina Match Preview

Written By Alex Blowers on August 21, 2021

WHAT: Serie A, Matchday 01
KICK OFF: Sunday, August 22nd, 2:45PM EST
WHERE: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
WATCH: Paramount+

On Sunday, we will see José Mourinho make his long-awaited return to Italian football. His previous spell in the country was with Inter Milan, where in 2009/10 season he led them to the Serie A title, Coppa Italia, and Champions League. In doing so, they became the first Italian club to complete the treble.

It’s almost impossible that he will reach those levels of success with this Roma squad. The club hasn’t won a trophy since 2008, and lifting the Coppa Italia or UEFA Europa Conference League will be a massive achievement.

Mourinho and his players look up for the fight after he and three of them – Lorenzo Pellegrini, Gianluca Mancini, and Rick Karsdorp – were all sent off in a 5-2 defeat to Real Betis during pre-season. They were undefeated in their other seven pre-season games, winning five, drawing two, scoring 17 goals, and conceding 4.

  • UEFA Europa Conference League Qualifier: Trabzonspor 1-2 Roma (W)
  • Pre-Season: Roma 5-0 Raja Club Athletic (W)
  • Pre-Season: Real Betis 5-2 Roma (L) *Roma had three players sent off
  • Pre-Season: Belenenses SAD 1-3 Roma (W)
  • Pre-Season: Roma 0-0 Sevilla (D)
  • Pre-Season: FC Porto 1-1 Roma (D)
  • Pre-Season: Roma 5-2 Debreceni VSC (W)
  • Pre-Season: Triestina 0-1 Roma (W)
  • Pre-Season: Roma 2-0 Ternana (W)

Fiorentina will be hoping Vincenzo Italiano is the answer to their recent managerial struggles. Since October 2019, they have made four managerial changes appointing Vincenzo Montella, Giuseppe Iachini twice, and Cesare Prandelli. They handed the reigns to Gennaro Gattuso at the end of last season, but he never took charge of a game and decided to leave after 23 days due to disagreements over the club’s transfer plans.

One of the keys to Italiano’s success will be getting the best out of 21-year-old striker Dušan Vlahović. He scored 21 goals and provided 3 assists in 37 appearances last season. The young Serbian has been linked to Tottenham as a potential replacement for Harry Kane if he joins Manchester City and to City if they don’t get Kane.

Fiorentina President, Rocco Commisso, spoke out this week, saying he doesn’t wish to sell Vlahović this summer and has offered him a new contract. We’ve heard similar stances over the years from other club presidents and chairman on their star players, only for them to be sold at a premium by the end of the transfer window.

Fiorentina had a good pre-season, winning four fixtures, drawing one, scoring 24, and conceding one goal. Fans will be hoping they can continue that form in Serie A and finish in the top half of the table.

  • Coppa Italia Round of 32: Fiorentina 4-0 Cosenza (W)
  • Pre-Season: Fiorentina 0-0 Espanyol (D)
  • Pre-Season: Fiorentina 4-0 Virtus Verona (W)
  • Pre-Season: Fiorentina 9-0 Levico Terme (W)
  • Pre-Season: Fiorentina 7-1 SV Ostermunchen (W)


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Serie A Betting Roma vs Fiorentina


Serie A Betting Roma vs Fiorentina

Out: Chris Smalling (Thigh), Leonardo Spinazzola (Achilles), Gonzalo Villar (Knee)
Doubtful: None
Suspended: None
Coach: José Mourinho

Mourinho’s preferred lineup has been 4-2-3-1 throughout pre-season, with Eldor Shomoruodov leading the line. I think he will relegate the Uzbekistan international to the bench and hand new $47 million signing Tammy Abraham his first start for the club.

Fans will be excited and relieved to see Nicolò Zaniolo back in the starting lineup. The young Italian playmaker has struggled with injuries the last two seasons rupturing both of his anterior cruciate ligaments in less than a year.

Fans of the Premier League will recognize former Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio. He joined in a $13.8 million deal this summer and brings a wealth of experience to Roma’s backline. Center back Chris Smalling has been ruled out after picking up a thigh injury earlier this week in training.


Serie A Betting Roma vs Fiorentina

Out: Sofyan Amrabat (Groin)
Doubtful: None
Suspended: None
Coach: Vincenzo Italiano

Italiano has implemented his favored 4-3-3 formation during pre-season. He kicks off the season with central midfielder Sofyan Amrabat the only absentee, meaning he will select Erick Pulgar, Giacomo Bonaventura, and Youssef Maleh as his midfield three.

Summer signing Nicolás González is set to make his Serie A debut after joining from VfB Stuttgart in a $27.6 million deal. I think veteran José Callejón, who has 64 goals and 57 assists in 275 Serie A appearances, will start on the opposite flank.

Center back Germán Pezzella has just left the club for Real Betis in a $4.2 million deal. Igor Júlio is expected to step up in his place and partner the promising Nikola Milenković in central defense. The 23-year-old Serbian put to bed rumors linking him away from the club by signing a new contract tieing him to the club till 2023.


Serie A has allowed fans to return to stadiums at 50% capacity. This will be Mourinho’s first competitive game in front of them, and summer signings Abraham, Patricio, Matías Viña, and Roger Ibañez will be making their debuts. Throw in Zaniolo’s highly anticipated return from injury, and we have a recipe for an electric atmosphere at Stadio Olimpico.

Back Roma to kick off the season with a win. If you’re willing to take a risk for better value, back them at -1.5 Goals on the Spread.

SAFE BETTING TIP: Roma Moneyline -130 | BETTER VALUE BETTING TIP: Roma -1.5 Goals +185


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Alex Blowers

Betting advice for the Premier League, Bundesliga & UEFA Champions League! Twitter - @AlexJBlowers

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