Well, jet lag, returning to work and an oncoming cold aside, it is damn good to be back. Especially with a tasty Serie A matchup to look forward to tomorrow. I'm planning to do a post about playing a little calcio on the beach in Essaouria on the Atlantic coast of Morocco during my vacation (still have quite a few pictures and videos to sort through), but for today, let's stick to the big Fiorentina - Parma matchup tomorrow night at the Artemio Franchi.
I suppose you guys don't need me to tell you about this, but things are looking pretty good at the moment for Fiorentina. Our boys are back in the top 4 (though the standings are quite bunched with only 4 points between 10th placed Napoli and 3rd placed AC David Beckham), and have 9 points from the first 4 CL group stage matches. Lyon come to town on Tuesday for a massive match (a win in that one guarantees Fiorentina a place in the knockout phase of the CL), so Prandelli will have to work around some availability issues and rotate his squad a bit to get results both tomorrow and on Tuesday evening. And, there is that trip to the San Siro to face league-leading Inter next Sunday. So, needless to say, Fiorentina come out of the International break with quite a daunting set of games to look forward to.
Cesare Prandelli has said that the following guys will not be available tomorrow, due to injury or illness: Gamberini, Mutu, Jo-Jo and Kroldrup (who came back with a bit of Bronchitis from Denmark, but will be good to go on Tuesday). This means we're looking at either the vaunted Dainelli-Natali CB pairing, or having Comotto or Donadel play at CB to deal with the injury crisis. At any rate, I'm crossing my fingers that ex-Viola man Valeri Bojinov will not make his old team pay due to our depleted CB situation.
There are many members of the current Fiorentina squad with ties to Parma. I think the list is complete with Prandelli, Mutu, Marchionni, Bassy, Donadel and the Gila Monster. Of note for Parma, besides Bojinov, is their defensive midfielder, McDonald Mariga, as the young Kenyan has been linked to Fiorentina and is quite impressive in the center of the field.
Lineups, aka Blind Guess Dept.
Here are Prandelli's choices:
Agyei (numero di maglia 26), Avramov, Babacar, Castillo, Comotto, Dainelli, De Silvestri, Donadel, Frey, Gilardino, Gobbi, Jorgensen, Marchionni, Natali, Pasqual, Santana, Savio, Vargas e Zanetti.
Here's my guess: 4-2-3-1: Bassy; Comotto, Dainelli, Natali, Pasqual; Donadel, Zanetti; Vargas, Santana, Marchionni; Gila Monster. Here's hoping we get a look at young Savio as a substitute.
For Parma: 4-1-3-2: Mirante; Zaccardo, Panucci, A. Lucarelli, Castellini; Mariga; Morrone, Dzemaili, Galloppa; Amoruso, Bojinov
This one will air live on FSC, beginning tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 pm EST. Sweet.
I think the Viola will get it done at home. 3-1. Goals for Gila, Donadel and Vargas for the good guys and one for Bojinov as well.
Forza Viola and its good to be back.