The 2021/22 Serie A is finally upon us, the wait is finally over. Roma kick-off their Serie A campaign on Sunday evening with a home game against Fiorentina. Can history repeat itself again with a home win like in 2014 against the same opposition, time will tell.
This is the second game of the season for Roma and coach José Mourinho. On Thursday evening they travelled to Trabzon to take on the Turkish side Trabzonspor in the Europa League Conference 4th qualifying round. Roma managed to come away from Trabzon with a 2-1 away with thanks to goals from Lorenzo Pellegrini (the first in the Mourinho era) and a debut goal for Eldor Shomurodov. Ex Parma striker Andreas Cornelius equalised with his first touch of the ball after being introduced as a second-half sub moments before.
I was impressed by Roma in this game after a slow first 15-20 minutes. You can see José Mourinho’s stamp on the team already after a strong pre-season showing. They did have to suffer a little bit after Trabzonspor equalised but seized the moment late in the second half to get the crucial away win.
There were a few stand-out performances from the Thursday night game, both Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibanez were outstanding at centre-back. But the stand-out for me was the new left-back signing in Matias Vina. Looked so composed on the ball, very strong going forward and did an excellent defensive job shackling the attack of Gervinho.
PREDICTED LINE-UP | ROMA (4-2-3-1)
Rui Patricio, Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Vina, Cristante, Veretout, Zaniolo, Pellegrini, El Shaarawy, Shomurodov.
Fiorentina are the visitors to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening for the opening round of Serie A fixtures. It’s been a bit of a strange summer for the Viola. It was announced on the 25th of May that former Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso would take charge after he was sacked on Twitter after the final day of the season. But he only lasted 23 days as head coach. Former Spezia coach Vincenzo Italiano joined on a two-year deal. In my opinion an excellent choice as manager/head coach of Fiorentina. His Spezia side were excellent to watch last season. Very easy on the eye, elegant football played. Should be a very good fit for both parties.
Vincenzo Italiano likes to play 4-3-3 and gone are the days of ex-Fiorentina coaches playing dreadful 3-5-2. In an ideal world Italiano would like to play with 10 outfielders playing the no.10 role with every player comfortable on the ball.
It was a good start to the season for Vincenzo Italiano and Fiorentina as they advanced to the second round of the Coppa Italia. On Friday the 13th of August, Fiorentina defeated Cosenza 4-0 thanks to a brace from Dusan Vlahovic and goals from Lorenzo Venuti and new signing from VFB Stuttgart Nicolas Gonzalez.
In midweek it was announced that club captain German Pezzella has left Florence and Serie A and joined Real Betis for €4m. If anyone hasn’t seen the transfer announcement video from Real Betis, I would check it out.
PREDICTED LINE-UP | FIORENTINA (4-3-3)
Dragowski, Venuti, Milenkovic, Igor, Biraghi, Pulgar, Bonaventura, Castrovilli, N. Gonzalez, Callejon, Vlahovic.
I am really looking forward to this game on Sunday night, it has the ingredients to be compelling viewing. A new up-and-coming coach who has excellent ideas and philosophies to play football, against a man who has won it all in different countries and wants to come back to the Italian capital to rejuvenate a sleeping giant.