Fiorentina v Roma preview: Kumbulla returns; Lopez, Mayoral keep places

Roma will be trying to get back on track when they visit Fiorentina in the midweek round of Serie A action.

After losing to Milan at the weekend, Roma need to pick up points again to stay in the top four race. The first chance to do so will be on Wednesday, when they face Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Roma have won their last three games against Fiorentina, so will be hoping to continue that trend. However, they need to quickly shake off the mistakes they made against Milan.

Paulo Fonseca’s future has come into question again as a result, although it does not seem his position is of immediate concern. Even so, the coach must now focus on guiding Roma into the top four – and that means results are needed straight away.

There had been doubts after the Milan game over whether Pau Lopez and Borja Mayoral might be dropped, but Fonseca has confirmed they both will be among the starters in Florence. The same applies for Marash Kumbulla, who will be making his first appearance since recovering from a recent injury.

Another boost for Roma at the back is the return to the squad of Chris Smalling, although he will likely stay among the substitutes for now.

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Fellow centre-back Roger Ibanez remains out of the squad, as do full-back Davide Santon and striker Edin Dzeko.

In Dzeko’s absence, other attackers will have to step up again, with Roma having failed to score in each of their last three Serie A away games. There will be pressure on the likes of Mayoral and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to deliver – as well as former Fiorentina midfielder Jordan Veretout, who is becoming a greater goal threat for Roma.

At the other end, Roma will be trying to do something they have never done before – keeping clean sheets in both league games against Fiorentina in a single season.

Among the main players trying to stop that will be Fiorentina’s top scorer this season, Dusan Vlahovic – who has coincidentally been linked with Roma for the summer and may be out to impress his potential future employers. The Serbian has never scored against the Giallorossi, though.

The game kicks off at 7:45pm UK time, but the only way to watch it will be via the Live Score app. There will be a replay of the game on Premier Sports 2 at 1am on Thursday.

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