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Gervinho helping shape Roma into genuine Serie A contenders

| 08.10.2013

Gervinho may have been under-appreciated at the Emirates, but after sealing a summer move to Italy, the Ivorian striker’s goals have played a part in Roma’s scintillating start to their Serie A campaign.

Seven wins from their opening seven league matches have propelled Roma to the top of the Serie A standings and as a result the Romans are now priced at 4/1 to scoop their first scudetto since the 2000/01 campaign.

Having posted two disappointing Serie A finishes of seventh and sixth respectively, the club underwent a big shake-up in the summer and now the dust has settled, the new alchemy appears to have worked.

At the helm, French manager Rudi Garcia was brought in following a successful spell at Lille, in which he won Ligue One in the 2010/11 season for the club.

And despite losing some stellar names from his Roma squad – with the likes of Erik Lamela and Daniel Osvaldo heading to England, and star centre-back Marquinhos joining Paris St-Germain – Garcia has reinvested shrewdly.

Among the instant hits, 22-year-old Serbian Adem Ljajic, who has notched three goals from four starts, Dutch international Kevin Strootman, providing the midfield glue and of course Arsenal outcast Gervinho – who has scored three times in as many recent starts.

Perhaps even more impressive, though, is club legend Francesco Totti’s contribution at the tender age of 37, still pulling the strings in the number 10 role.

But what underpins Garcia’s new-look Roma as genuine title contenders, apart from their ability to score multiple times in every game so far and 20 all told, is the fact they’ve shipped just one goal.

Marshalled expertly by the inspired signing of Moroccan centre-back Mehdi Benatia from Udinese, Roma’s defensive steel is unparalleled in the division.

When you throw into the mix that there is no distraction of European competition, this Roma side really could be the real deal.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.