WHERE WE ARE
FIORENTINA (4-3-1 in Serie A, T-5th; 2-0-0 in Europa League Group E, 1st)
Well, if you are like me you're still not entirely sure where exactly you are after the heroics against the "Old
Something Inappropriate Lady" and are still watching videos like the following on repeat...
WHERE THEY ARE
CS Pandurii Târgu Jiu (6-2-3 in Romanian Liga I, 4th; 0-1-1 in Europa League Group E, 3rd)
Clubul Sportiv Pandurii Lignitul Târgu Jiu - to give them their full name - are enjoying the best moment of their existence so far. The Romanian club, located in the regional capital city of Târgu Jiu, have been in Liga I for less than ten years, and last year achieved their highest-ever finish as runners up. Head coach Cristian Dumitru Pustai has Pandurii off to another strong start, but remain five points behind league leaders Steaua Bucureşti, who also have two games in hand. The team boasts a mainly Romanian line-up, and has a very good away record. Watch out for amazingly-named Lithuanian striker Deivydas Matulevičius, who already boasts 6 goals to his name, and Brazilian midfielder Eric de Oliveira Pereira, who scored twice in their 6-1 thrashing of Botoşani.
When drafted into Group E, I think most commentators (myself included) overrated Paços de Ferreira and underrated Pandurii, but I don't think Montella is doing the same in chopping and changing. The stadium will still be rocking after Juventus on Sunday, and the players given a chance to shine in this starting XI will be eager to make a positive impression as the season begins to wear on. Let's hope that Matos can score in Europe again, and if we are ever in doubt, just keep calm and pass to Borja Valero.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3) Neto; Tomovic, Gonzalo, Compper, Alonso; Fernandez, Bakic, Valero; Joaquin, Matos, Iakovenko
Pandurii (4-2-3-1) Stanca; Ungurusan, Christou, Erico, Sipo; Buleica, Cristea; Pereira, Anton, Distefano; Matulevičius
Kick-off is 3:05 p.m. EST, and will not be televised, but will be available on Fox Soccer 2Go? I think?