Viola travel to Sicility to take on the Loathsome Pink Sicilians (with the douchiest Serie A fans)

Well, here's hoping that title of this post doesn't lead to an excessive flame war with guys who support Palermo. But, these are the clowns who one could probably find in an episode of the Jersey Shore trying to start a fight. In all seriousness, this game is obviously massive, as Palermo sit in 6th, one point ahead of Fiorentina (the good guys do have a game in hand). I'm already fired up and its only Friday evening here in DC.

Team News

Per the medical report, all of the big guns should be fit for the trip except for Old Man Lars Jorgensen and Zanetti who has to have a scope of his ankle to see what's going on (good thing we got that Gringo dude). This means that Jo-Jo will likely be in the 18. I can't really see him starting, because it seems like there's no chance he could give a full 90, but who knows. I'm just thrilled that he's back.

Match Thoughts

Palermo are a tough matchup, and have several dangerous players. Obviously Viola fans know Miccoli and Cavani has proved a handful. I must confess to not having watched many Palermo matches up until this point, and while Pastore is praised for his creativity, I thought he was lazy and a step off of the Serie A pace in the match in Florence a couple months back. Simplicio always plays hard and is a decent two way player, but he seems to be transfer listed to Roma at this point so maybe the Viola won't have to deal with him. And although Kjaer looks to be about 14, he's very tough at the back. And I don't think I need to remind anyone here about Liverani's left foot. The pink guys are also undefeated at home, with 6 wins and 4 draws at the Renzo Barbera.

On a completely unrelated note, I'm not sure if any of you saw Franceso's recap of the 2000-2001 Serie A season. It was excellent, as usual, and I especially enjoyed it because that was the year I began following Italian football in earnest, and Fiorentina in particular. Its also the season Fiorentina won their last trophy, capturing the Coppa Italia despite the impending financial doom. I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that in my travels, I did make it to Palermo, but not in time for the Friday evening Serie C? (I honestly can't remember which division they were in at this point - no hate as Viola fans also had to endure that) match they had so I never set foot in their stadium.

As for the VIola, the team bounced back quickly from the poor performance against Bologna with a strong performance against Lazio. And truth be told, the Bologna match aside, Fiorentina have been strong since the winter break, led by Adrian Mutu's 7 goals in 5 matches. RickyMonty's playing great, Bassy is sharp, Felipe has adjusted well, Vargas will end you, Mutu's back and Gila is always a threat. I'm confident that this trip to Sicily will go well.

Lineups, aka Blind Guess Dept.

Fiorentina: 4-2-3-1: Bassy; Comotto, Gamberini, Felipe, Gobbi; RickyMonty, Donadel; Marchionni, Mutu, Vargas; Gila Monster. I think we'll see ex-Palermo man Santana off the bench, as well as Jo-Jo coming on for Mutu sometime after the 60th minute.

Palermo: 4-3-1-2: Sirigu; Cassani, Kjaer, Bovo, Balzaretti; Migliaccio, Liverani, Bresciano; Pastore; Cavani, Miccoli.

TeeVee?

Excellent news on this front, as the game will be broadcast live at 9 EST on both FSC and that RAI if you got it.

Prediction Time

Being honest, Fiorentina are better than Palermo. Then again, Fiorentina are better than Bologna too. I think the boys get it done 2-1 with goals from Mutu and Gila giving the edge over a Cavani strike. Forza Viola and I'll see y'all on Sunday morning. Peace.

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