Greetings, Viola tifosi. Its a big day in beautiful Florence, as out beloved Viola are nervously awaiting tonight's match against Bayern Munich with a place in the last 8 of the CL in the balance. The CL has been the bright spot in an uneven campaign for Fiorentina this season, and based upon the result of the first leg, Fiorentina can advance if they play up to their maximum tonight.
So, here's the situation. A 1-0 victory puts Fiorentina through on away goals. A victory by more than 2 goals and the Viola win on aggregate. If Fiorentina are in front 2-1 at the conclusion of 90 minutes, then we will have the dreaded nerve-wracking extra time and potentially penalties (though I like our chances there on account of Bassy).
I think it is fair to say that Fiorentina were the better side in Munich over the first leg, if only by a bit. And, despite some wretched luck, the team has played fairly well of late and created many chances. The thing that has me petrified is surrendering an early goal. This has the potential to really take the wind out of the Viola sails, and even though the squad fought back well against Juve on Saturday after doing just that, it would take a massive amount of energy against a talented and experienced Bayern side to pull this off.
I will also be rooting for an early yellow card for Bayern's dishonorable punk thug of a captain, Mark Van Bommel. This will hopefully disrupt his constant fouling in the middle of the field and give Fiorentina's creative players, like RickyMonty, Zanetti and Jo-Jo space to do what they do best. The other thing to worry about, of course, is the counter attack of the visitors, led by Ribery and diving glass man Robben. LDS did a fantastic job against Ribery in Munich and will hopefully be up to it again. Pasqual will be tasked with Robben, but RickyMonty and Zanetti will have to help him out because he's not the athlete that Gobbi is.
The Viola are without Gobbi due to his preposterous suspension, and Mutu because he's a clown. Also, Gamberini is not yet fit. Vargas is also not 100%, but we all know he must want to play in this match and he's a bad man. So I expect to see him from the start, and he'll be replaced by Ljajic if we still need a goal or Donadel if we're trying to protect a lead.
The Visitors are going to be without DeMichelis who broke his face in a friendly against Zee Germans last week, and Contento who picked up an injury in the league last weekend. So, neither team will be fielding a first choice defense.
Lineups, aka Blind Guess Dept:
Fiorentina: 4-2-3-1: Bassy; LDS, Kroldrup, Felipe, Pasqual; Zanetti, RickyMonty; Marchionni, Jo-Jo, Vargas; Gila Monster.
FC Hollywood: 4-4-2: Butt, Lahm, Van Buyten, Badstuber, Pranjic; Robben, Punk ass Captain, Schweinsteiger, Ribery; Gomez, Mueller
Game will be live on FSC from 2:00 EST (pre-game). Kickoff is at 2:45 pm.
Gila wants to make hisotry. RickyMonty wants to make history. I think they boys get it done. 3-1. Goals from RickyMonty and Jo-Jo in the first half, Bayern pulls 1 back and Gila Monster seals the deal and celebrates by playing the violin under the Curva Fiesole. Forza Viola!