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Fiorentina v Roma preview

ACF Fiorentina and AS Roma can stew over past UEFA Cup final defeats by Serie A rivals as they gear up for their all-Italian UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie.

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella was a player and coach at Roma
Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Montella was a player and coach at Roma ©AFP/Getty Images

ACF Fiorentina and AS Roma have reason to be cautious as they approach the all-Italian UEFA Europa League round of 16 ties, both having had unhappy European encounters with domestic rivals in the past.

What they say
Vincenzo Montella, Fiorentina coach: "The defeat at Lazio hasn't had too much of an impact. This is a new match, the strategy will be important. It will be a tough match. Roma have a great team, one built to win championships. Their players will want to get revenge [for the cup defeat]. If [Francesco] Totti plays, they play in a certain way; without him, the game changes."

Rudi Garcia, Roma coach: "We've played Fiorentina three times already this season. I think tomorrow will be different as we have 180 minutes ahead of us. We are without our captain, Totti. I think you will see some interesting tactical choices. I'm confident in my players' ability – they are very capable of playing as well as they were until recently."

Previous meetings
• The sides have yet to meet in UEFA competition, but know each other well from Serie A.

• The teams met in a knockout tie in this season's Coppa Italia quarter-finals. On 3 February, a Mario Gomez double at the Stadio Olimpico gave Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina a 2-0 win – the coach's first against his old club with the Viola.

Roma were 2-0 home winners against Fiorentina on 30 August 2014, the first day of the Serie A season, thanks to goals from Radja Nainggolan (28 minutes) and Gervinho (90+3). The game in Florence on 25 January finished 1-1, Adem Ljajić (49) cancelling out Gomez's opener (19).

• In 159 competitive domestic meetings Roma have managed 52 wins to Fiorentina's 49, with 58 games drawn.

Form guide
• Having lost over two legs to Juventus in the 1989/90 UEFA Cup final (3-1 a, 0-0 h), Fiorentina bowed out to their Serie A rivals again in last season's round of 16 (1-1 a, 0-1 h). Their record in four European games against Italian sides is therefore W0 D2 L2.

Roma's only previous European encounters with Italian opponents were in the final of the 1990/91 UEFA Cup, where a 1-0 home win failed to overturn a 2-0 deficit against FC Internazionale Milano.

Fiorentina's home record this season is W2 D1 L1, with that lone defeat a 2-1 against FC Dinamo Minsk in their final group stage game.

Roma's 2-1 round of 32 success at Feyenoord ended a run of six European away games without a win (D3 L3), stretching back to 2010.

Roma last reached the round of 16 in this competition in 2005/06, when they were beaten by Middlesbrough FC. They were eliminated in the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 1992/93, 1995/96 and 1998/99.

Fiorentina last made it through the last 16 in 2007/08, when they were beaten by Rangers FC on penalties in the semi-finals.

Trivia and links
Fiorentina's David Pizarro (2006–12) and Alberto Aquilani (2002–09) both spent significant spells at Roma, while Ljajić left the Viola to join Roma in summer 2013 after three seasons in Tuscany.

Roma midfielder Alessandro Florenzi turns 24 the day before the first leg; Fiorentina defender Manuel Pasqual (33) and midfielder Marko Marin (26) have birthdays the day after the match.

• Marin and Roma's Ashley Cole were team-mates at Chelsea FC from 2012 to 2014, though the German was out on loan for much of that period.

Roma and Fiorentina are among five Italian clubs in the round of 16; only once before has one nation been represented by so many sides at this stage, West Germany having provided five contenders in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup.

The coaches
Fiorentina boss since June 2012, Montella was known as 'L'Aeroplanino' (the Little Aeroplane) because of his modest stature and trademark goal celebrations during his time as a striker. An Italian international, he won the 2000/01 Serie A title with Roma, and scored 83 goals in all competitions for the club from 1997–2008.

• Montella also started his coaching career at Roma. Initially a youth coach, he replaced Claudio Ranieri at the helm in February 2011 and helped them to finish sixth in the league. He later coached Calcio Catania.

• The son of a footballer, Roma's French coach Rudi Garcia was a midfielder for LOSC Lille and SM Caen, among others, though he was forced to retire aged 28. He studied and did media work before making his name as a coach with AS Saint-Étienne and Dijon FCO. His attack-minded LOSC side won the French title and Coupe de France in 2010/11, with Roma bringing him in as coach in June 2013.

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