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Fiorentina v. Genoa: Preview

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201308_hp.jpgBefore I get to this weekend’s match, please bear with me for two announcements:

1). Okay, first…this is just stupid. Stop it.

2). Secondly, it now seems official that Fiorentina have signed Felipe Melo from Spain. (for €13 million, no less.) Remember that you heard it here first. If it wasn’t such a busy week, I’d talk more about this important signing. More on it next week.

Okay, onto the match. This weekend at the Artemio Franchi in Florence, Fiorentina will take on Genoa in a critical Series A match. Fiorentina, as we all know, are in 4th place in the league, one point up on their rivals for Champions League football, AC Milan. Genoa, meanwhile, sits safely in 9th in their first season back in the big time. Genoa has been pretty consistently around the mid-table all season, and will certainly provide a test for the Viola. Fiorentina should get all three points, however, provided they focus on the game and play as well as they are able.

Lost in the hype of Fiorentina’s inspiring UEFA cup run has been the fact that the club has a critical match this weekend. This match (tough but winnable) comes just a day after Milan plays Roma. If Roma wins (and God, I hope they do) a Viola win would stretch the lead in 4th back to four points and give Fiorentina a little breathing space. A Milan win combined with a Viola draw or loss, however, would see Fiorentina tumble out of the top four for the first time in a while. With tricky matches coming up vs. Napoli (in Naples) and Lazio (the fellas who knocked us out of the Coppa Italia) it’s critical that Fiorentina get three points this weekend.

Recent Form (All Competitions):

Fiorentina: W-W-W-L-L

Genoa: L-W-W-L-L

Starting Line-Ups (AKA The Blind Guess Department)

Fiorentina: Frey; Ujfalusi, Dainelli, Kroldrup, Pasqual; Montolivo, Donadel, Gobbi; Santana, Pazzini, Jorgensen

Genoa: Scarpi; Konko, De Rosa, Criscito; Rossi, Milanetto, Juric, Fabiano; Sculli, Borriello, Leon

Who’s NOT Playing?

Mutu looks to be out another game at least, as does Papa Waigo. Word is Liverani might play this one. We’ll see….Meanwhile, Paro and Santos are out for Genoa.

Analysis

The question might be phrased: “Which Fiorentina will show up?” Will it be the team that thumped Juve (and beat Everton in their first leg of their UEFA Cup Tie) or the team that looked lifeless vs. Siena and got whacked by Everton in the second leg? No one needs to explain to the Great Man how important this game is, and I suspect he will carefully explain it to his charges. Thus, I’m buying that the “good” Viola will show up. I also tend to see glasses as half-full.

Prediction

2-0 Fiorentina. I hope Pazzini gets a brace after all the hard work he’s put in lately.

I’ll be back after the match with the recap. Enjoy the weekend, everybody!