On Wednesday at the Artemio Franchi Fiorentina will host their nearby rivals in a derby match that will be critical for the future success of both teams this season. Livorno, who haven’t won a game in their last five, are falling dangerously close to the relegation zone. The Viola, meanwhile, are facing the “easy” game in a seven-day period that was sandwiched by Roma this Sunday and Juventus next.
The big story for Fiorentina fans is the shortage of forwards. Mutu is out with a long-term injury, and Vieri is suspended. Pazzini has recently taken a knock on the ankle and will apparently be a game-time decision. Papa Waigo, on the strength of Sunday’s energetic performance, might earn a starting spot, but really the starting line-up is probably even more of a coin toss than usual with critical matches coming up for Fiorentina vs. Juve and Everton in the next week. Still, this is an important match. They are now tied on points with Milan and in a real dogfight for the 4th Champions League spot. It’s tough to see them taking more than a point on Sunday, so three is critical tomorrow.
Recent Form (all competitions)
Livorno: L-D-D-L-L (yikes)
Starting Eleven (AKA The Blind Guess Department)
Fiorentina: Frey; Ujfalusi, Kroldrup, Gamberini, Gobbi; Kuzmanovic, Liverani, Montolivo; Semioli, Pazzini, Papa Waigo
Livorno: Amelia; Grandoni, Pavan, Galante; Balleri, Pulzetti, De Vezze, Vailatti, Pasquale; Diamanti, Tristan
Livorno has been in tough shape recently, but now desperately needs points to stay up. The main question for Fiorentina, of course, is who is going to score the goals. If Pazzini plays much will be placed on his shoulders, although perhaps Liverani will ease the burden with the strong link-up play he is capable of. We shall see.
My heart says win, but I can’t shake the idea of a low-scoring draw, particularly with Fiorentina’s problems upfront. I’ll say 1-1, and hope the club pleasantly surprises me.
I will be back tomorrow evening with a wrap-up, but I won’t be able to see the game because of pesky work. Let’s see how they do without me watching for once…
And a Little Extra
Since this post is a bit grim, I can also report a little good news to go with the bad. Frey is now telling the press he wants to continue to wear the purple next season. Easy to say now, I understand, but I'll take the cheery news where I can get it.