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The hits just keep on coming

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Frey

Bad news. Looks like it will be somewhere around 6-8 weeks despite the hopes of the training staff. That means he's out until towards the end of January. Obviously this is a massive blow as he has been Fiorentina's best and most consistent player this year. Hands down. Fortunately it is not a season ending injury, and we know Frey will work hard to get back between the pipes as soon as possible.

The goalkeeper situation behind Frey is not exactly comforting. Lupatelli will surely start the three remaining games before the Christmas break, away to Sampdoria this weekend, and then home to Mlada Boleslav in the UEFA Cup next week and home to hapless Cagliari next Sunday. There had been some scuttlebutt that Aramov would be sold to Lazio but this seems highly unlikely given Frey's status. Lupatelli is pretty inexperienced, and I can't say that I've seen enough of him to have an opinion one way or the other as to how he will handle the pressure.

Ujfalusi

Those damn Sevilla transfer rumors won't go away. It seems silly to sell him in the middle of the season, especially considering the fact that he's flexible enough to play both centrally and on the right of the defense and the fact that there have been so many nagging injuries to Fiorentina defenders recently. If Fiorentina does sell him it must be because he doesn't want to renew his contract in Firenze. This way the club can get value for him as opposed to him leaving this summer for nothing when his contract is up.

I worry that this might be the first case where Fiorentina cannot pony up the salary necessary to keep a talented player and are forced to lose him. Hopefully he stays but things are looking rocky at the moment and he may well have made up his mind already.

Sampdoria Preview

This is going to be a quick one. Fiorentina are in the midst of a terrible rut, and the most glaring issue is a lack of goals. The defense is still the 2nd best in Serie A, but only 19 goals so far is the reason Fiorentina are dropping in the table. It is going to be up to Mutu, Pazzini and Montolivo (and Bobo if he gets out there) to get some scoring done in Genoa. Here's a preview from a couple of days ago, before Frey's injury in training.

Samp got off to a good start against Udinese but folded under pressure late and conceded the winning goal late in the game. A win is a must here for the Viola to stop the bleeding. I'm not going to make any predictions because I've been off so far and my superstition is telling me to take a break from there.

Kickoff is at 9am eastern time on Sunday morning. Forza Viola!

New Fan?

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I figured we'd try to end on a lighter note. I knew Mr. Lee was a supporter of Inter Milan (he has season tickets) and the Gunners. I also know his kids are big soccer players in NYC. So, I'm a little surprised he was in the stands at the Artemio Franchi for the Match with Udinese a couple of weeks ago. But it is cool to see him there nevertheless. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'd want to stay the hell away from courtside Knicks tickets this year as well ...