Luciano Spalletti feels Roma wrongly consider “some passes too banal and easy,” but Fiorentina show the importance of possession.
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“Thomas Vermaelen had this problem before international duty and when he returned it got worse, so he is still struggling,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“Fiorentina remain the same side as last season, a strong team with a Coach who is admired by all in a difficult place like Florence. To convince people there, you need a lot of quality.
“They play good football based on possession and a winning mentality. That inevitably leaves spaces at the back and makes them struggle defensively, as is the case for all teams who take an attacking approach.
“Yes, it’s a big match and that stadium creates something in us. Mind you, in Serie A every game is difficult. Last night I watched Sampdoria play a wonderful game against Milan, which shows you the danger in every match in this League.
“Fiorentina are among the candidates to finish quite high up the table, so their performance against us will speak to that. We need to ensure we are more consistent and stop having these highs and lows.
“Sometimes we go a little too deep, because we struggle to ‘fill’ the field with our individual performances. We struggle to complete easy passes that would allow us to control a match. Perhaps it’s because our players consider them banal and too easy, so try to do something else, but that web of passes is what becomes fundamental.
“That was one of our keys last season and so far we haven’t replicated it. That is the principle thing we need to focus on now.”
Mohamed Salah returns to face his old club, having left Fiorentina in bitter circumstances.
“Salah always has a smile on his face, he treats everything the same way. Sometimes he pretends not to understand me, but then I say it in a Florentine dialect and he spins round, so he’s sneaky! I have no doubt he’ll bring all his quality to the game.
“Salah is someone who does fill the game because he is constantly attacking the defenders, unpredictable and sometimes dribbles out of a situation without you expecting him to. He’s one of these players who you shouldn’t give too many indications, as that risks limiting his creativity.
“My only suggestion would be that he should challenge for the ball more and is tall enough to score more headers.”
Spalletti was asked if he had changed his position on the strength of the squad.
“I will deform my position only at the end of the year, if needed. You in the media are the ones who change from moment to moment. I continue to believe in this team and sow the seeds, waiting to see what grows. For example, I said Iturbe would be examined again, you wrote that I said he was dropped.
“Rome is an ideal place to work. We would do better with more enthusiasm, as it can spark something extra in the players. Living constantly between tension, doubt and exasperation is tricky for some to deal with.
“It’s true we conceded a few too many goals. We also scored quite a lot, but nobody tends to mention that. We take an attacking approach and that inevitably creates risks at the back.
“The real issue that worries me is the way we conceded the goals, as that reflects a lack of confidence. If we look at the goal Juan Jesus let in against Viktoria Plzen, he had a knock in the previous game and was asked to grit his teeth and play a second match in a row.
“The choices he made, his positioning on the cross, shows he is not calm. The moment we are going through nudged him towards a banal error. We have such tension that it causes a few errors we should not be making.”
See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk