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Minus Lucarelli and Toni but Plus an Ozzie

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Toni_e_Furmini

Well, I hope you weren't disappointed at the fact that I didn't post a Fiorentina-Roma recap. Personally, I thought there was such an inordinate amount of coverage surrounding the match: pre, post, and during the match, as a matter of fact, to render any further words on the subject obsolete. If you didn't catch it though, I was pretty satisfied with the result, and the game as a whole. I know I pessimistically predicted a lazy tie, but hey, in this case I'm glad I was wrong. It was a spectacular 2-2 tie, for those unlucky enough to miss the match. If I really had to pick the team most deserving to win I'd say Fiorentina, but that'd be a stretch. A beautiful tie was the fairest result possible. An eye-popping Sebastian Frey showed up on the field Wednesday for non-Fiorentina fans and Raymond Domenech.

I say eye-popping for them, cause we Viola fans are used to The French Superball's miracles.

(If anybody can come up with a better nickname than The French Superball, please come forth.)

On To Livorno

Cristiano_Lucarelli

Ah, Livorno-Fiorentina. A classic derby. What to say about our opponents? Well, I can sum up their season thus far with a 6-letter word. Rhymes with 'Sappy'.

6 goals scored in 5 games. Not that bad, 1.2 goals a game, gotta watch out for that offense. So they can't be that terrible, right? Oh wait...

13 goals allowed in 5 games.

Wow. We don't need Stephen Hawkins to figure out that's almost 3 goals a game.

So far this season Livorno has (somehow) managed to tie two games, but they lost the other three. HAHAHAHA I was just looking at the past weeks' scores and remembered that one of the only two points Livorno picked up was against Inter. Hahaha those guys suck so bad.

Thankfully, Fiorentina is not Inter, or anything that resembles such a loser-ish team. So we shouldn't have too much to fear.

I'd like to remind everyone that this is the first derby of its kind without the teams' respective offensive rooks, Cristiano Lucarelli on one side and Captain Kickass on the other. Oh, the memories. WHY, LUCA, WHY?!?!

Right, let's talk about the actual game here for a second.

The Line-ups

Livorno

Amelia

Grandoni; Galante; Knezevic

Balleri; Vidigal; Loviso; A. Filippini; Pasquale

Diamanti; Bogdani

Bench: De Lucia, Rezaei, Dhorasoo, Giannichedda, E. Filippini, Alvarez, Tavano

The Big Viola Machine

Frey

Potenza; Kroldrup; Gamberini; Pasqual

Pazienza; Liverani; Gobbi

Santana; Pazzini; Osvaldo

Bench:Vanden Borre, Lupoli, Lupatelli; Ujfalusi, Balzaretti, Montolivo, Kuzmanovic, Semioli, Vieri

As always, these formations are by no means definite. Dainelli is out with injury, nothing too serious though, or so it seems. Mutu is "really tired" as Prandelli put it (and maybe he's planning to lay low so Lega Calcio forgets to suspend him), and Donadel is out after being expelled against Roma.

Honestly, I expected more from Livorno. Their team really isn't that bad. It's sort of a compilation of players with unfulfilled dreams. Like Tavano, a demi-god with Empoli, prior to forgetting any football skills he ever possessed while at Valencia and Roma (although Quique Sanchez Flores's mentally raping him might have had something to do with it). Also Giannichedda, who had a fling with Juve after his Lazio days, Marco Amelia, fallen victim to Serie A's Samba Goalie Craze...

You'd expect these players to come together and show once and for all who they are, but they decided to take the other route: come together and go to local A.A. meetings, because they've all become heavy drinkers over the last few years.

The best way I can describe the Fiorentina offense versus Amaranto defense matchup is by comparing their defense to a piece of cheap plywood standing in the way of a purple cannonball. Any questions? Their midfield really isn't as bad as you would expect a tied-for-last-place team's midfield to be. Hell, they've even got pretty decent depth. They're just collectively sucking. On the offensive end, they have a good striker in Bogdani, and an interesting young striker in Alessandro Diamanti. Plus, they've got Tavano on the bench; I still don't think that guy's given up. Either way, it's nothing that would give Frey nightmares. Although few offenses do that to him nowadays.

For Fiorentina, there's little to say, except we're going to be seeing a sort of turnover (if you haven't noticed), and that Pablo Daniel Osvaldo will be getting his first Fiorentina start, replacing Mutu. This is a great chance for him to show his stuff. We're playing against a butter-like defense, our own team will be tired, and he's going to be fresh and ultra-motivated. All there remains to be seen is if he has adapted well to The Prands's tactics.

The only thing there is to be apprehensive about is our extreme fatigue and the off-chance that they could have a pre-game pep rally and declare "No EFFING way we are not winning this EFFING game". As well as intaking copious amounts of cocaine, for good measure.

I won't have a sleepless night over them, anyway. You shouldn't either.

The Predictions

Final Score: 0-4

Man of the Match: Er Pazzo

Box Score: Pazzini (17), Liverani (33), Osvaldo (61), Pazzini (74)

This is going to be Pazzini's game, baby.