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.
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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."
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.