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Fiorentina v. PSV: Preview

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2014601.jpgTommorow in Eindhoven Fiorentina will take on PSV in the second leg of their UEFA Cup clash. The first leg was drawn 1-1 in Florence (with PSV getting that invaluable away goal) and thus the Viola will have to attack and attack and attack again (and also defend pretty well) to get to the next round.

Since I just previewed the first leg last week, I’m not going to go into details again, and it continues to be true that everything I know about Dutch football can be stuffed into a very small shoebox, but I will repeat again that PSV played VERY efficiently last week and aside from one costly error seemed to control the tone and tempo of the match.

Fiorentina, of course, is coming off a strong win at home in Series A, but as we know their home record has been quite different from what they do on the road. Fiorentina has won their last five home league matches, in fact, while losing four out of the last five while traveling. So this will be no easy feat.

I am encouraged, however, by the continually improving play of Mutu and Pazzini (the former seems to be fully recovered from his injuries) and the steady play of the back line in last weekend’s match. It is true that the team must be dog-tired (with a critical match vs. Inter coming up in the league this weekend) but they should be supremely “up” for this match, especially with the knowledge that after this it is only one more head-to-head until the winner gets to the UEFA Cup final, which is really quite a prize for this young and likable team from the world’s most beautiful city.

Recent Form

PSV: D-W-D-D-W

Fiorentina: L-W-L-D-W

Possible Starting Line-Ups (AKA The Blind Guess Department)

PSV: Gomes; Salcido, Rajkovic, Marcellis, Kromkamp; Culina, Simons, Mendez, Bakkal, Aissati; Koevermans

Fiorentina: Frey; Ujfalusi, Dainelli, Gamberini, Pasqual; Kuzmanovic, Liverani, Montolivo; Santana, Pazzini, Mutu

Who’s NOT Playing?

Ibrahim Afellay and Jefferson Farfán will both be missing for PSV, the first due to injury, while the second is suspended. Semioli countinues out for the Viola

Analysis

PSV is a good team that plays well at home. With the critical away goal, they only have to defend (which they do very well) to advance. On the other hand, Fiorentina attacks as beutifully as any team in Europe when all cylinders are clicking. They have certainly had their road woes this season, but what better time to turn them around than tommorow in a UEFA Cup quarter-final?

Prediction

2-2 Fiorentina, the Viola advance to the next round.

What the hell did you expect? I’m not the PSV blogger, for Chissakes!

I’ll be back tommorow with the recap. Forza Viola!