Roma v Fiorentina, Preview: Can the Viola stop Roma's purple patch?

Claudio Villa

Saturday brings a battle between two free-scoring sides, with both Fiorentina and Roma seeking to prove they belong in contention for Italy's European slots.

The match between Roma and Fiorentina has the potential to be the best in Week 16. Roma has scored the most goals in Serie A this season, with 34, but the Viola aren't too shabby in that department either, with 27 scored thus far. The giallorossi, however, are fourth worst in the league at letting goals fly past, having allowed 24. Fiorentina are much more stingy -- their 14 goals allowed is bettered only by Napoli and Juventus.

But fortunes have reversed over the last few matches. Roma have conceded just one in their last three, now that Zdenek Zeman has finally learned that perhaps having a defense is necessary in Serie A. His men are still throwing out the full-on attack, although Erik Lamela's injury has forced them to look to Mattia Destro for their goals -- the youngster has scored three of the side's last six.

As for the visitors, Fiorentina have slipped up a bit in the last two weeks. They fought back against both Torino and Sampdoria to earn a 2-2 draw in each, but the Viola should've never been in such positions, particularly against sides that tend to sit back and defend. It's unlikely that Stefan Savic will be a hero more than once in a season, after all.

Vincenzo Montella will certainly be looking for a hero, however, as he's still got a point to prove against Roma. Fiorentina are still without Stevan Jovetic, and most likely Adem Ljajic, but at least they've got Luca Toni back from injury this week. Perhaps another unlikely hero, but the veteran has been excellent for Viola this season, and could give the visitors the boost needed to continue reaching for the top spots.

AS Roma Injuries and Suspensions

Erik Lamela (injured)

Fiorentina Injuries and Suspensions

Adem Ljajic and Stevan Jovetic (injured); David Pizarro (unlikely, bereavement)

Match Date / Time: Saturday, December 8 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: Sky Calcio 1, ESPN UK, RAI Internazionale

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