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Chievo v. Fiorentina: Preview

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This Sunday the Viola travel to the pretty town of Verona to take on the Flying Donkeys in what is virtually a must-win game for Fiorentina. Coming off a disappointing draw in the Champions League (in which some home fans whistled their club off their field) and an unconvincing win vs. Genoa in the league, Fiorentina virtually MUST take the three points this weekend on the road if they are going to stay in the top-four race and prove their early season struggles are a fluke. The Viola have not earned a point on the road this season, but Sunday is a very, very good place to start.

[Verona Fun Fact #1: Did you know Chievo is my second favorite Veronese team? Yes, I’ve been more of a Hellas guy ever since I read Tim Park’s wonderful book A Season in Verona, which is about following Hellas for a season. Interesting read for Viola fans as it has Mutu, Jorgenson, the Great Man, and other future Viola stars in the book. Anyway, I recommend it.]

[Verona Fun Fact #2: Did you know hundreds of people from all over the world send letters to “Juliet” in Verona every year? That’s right; people write and ask advice to the fictional character Juliet from Romeo and Juliet. Apparently most of the advice asked is about matters of romance; very little is about football. Anyway, what is nice is that all of these letters (Many of which are addressed simply as ‘Juliet, Verona, Italy’) go to a simple office in Verona where an army of volunteers actually responds to each letter in the “voice” of Juliet. This is a true story, and one that I’ve always found very charming. I’ve never written to Juliet myself, but I vow I will if we drop points in the lovely girl’s hometown on Sunday morning.]

Anyway, why I am telling you all of this? Because I am too disgusted to talk about all the filthy rumors that are going around about the team (Prandelli to Juve and Mutu to Roma next season are my two least favorite right now) and I don’t really know enough about Chievo to write a coherent preview. All I know is that we really should and need to beat these guys, even on their own turf, or our season is going to start quickly looking like a wash. So, by the power of Juliet, please, please give us a win on Sunday.

Recent Form (league)

Chievo W L D D L

Fiorentina D L W L W

Starting Line-Ups (AKA The Blind Guess Department)

Chievo: Sorrentino; Malagò, Yepes, Cesar, Scardina; Pinzi, Italiano, Marcolini; Luciano, Pellissier, Langella

Fiorentina: Frey; Jorgensen, Kroldrup, Gamberini, Gobbi; Donadel, Felipe, Montolivo; Santana, Pazzini, Osvaldo

(I am taking, as the sign says, a blind guess and thinking the Great Man might shake up his front line.)

TV Situation

Not being shown here in the states. Damn you, Romeo!

Prediction

I am nothing if not an eternal optimist, even after reading one of the Bard’s tragedies. I say 3-0 Fiorentina, and in this version Romeo and Juliet get married and have a bunch of cute babies.

That’s all for now; have a good weekend and I’ll be back with the wrap-up on Sunday night.

Forza Viola!