What's happening? I hope all my fellow Americans had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday and I personally can't wait to see this match on Sunday morning to cap off a great weekend.
This match sets up to be very interesting. Fiorentina are on a high after securing qualification to the knockout phase of the Champions League, while Inter were humbled against Barcelona and are not assured of their progression in the Champions League. Serie A competition is a different story, Inter have been rolling along as in recent years, while Fiorentina have yet to put a string of strong performances together and are coming off of a poor home performance in a loss to Parma last Saturday.
The Viola catch a few breaks, mainly that Zlatan is not around to win this match by himself like he did last year. Also, Wesley Sneijder, Inter's best (only?) creative player is injured, Maicon is on a yellow card suspension and little Milan fan Davide Santon is also hurt so it looks like old man Zanetti will be at RB for the champions.
For Fiorentina, it looks like Jo-Jo will be healthy enough for the bench, Donadel is out with yellow cards, Gamberini is a game-time decision and Mutu is still hurt. It is pretty clear that Inter are troubled by a team that can play a high-energy pressing and possession game. If the Viola want to get something out of this match, they will have to take it to Inter, and the fact that some of Inter's strongest counter-attacking players are out will play into the Viola's hands for this strategy. I only saw the highlights of Inter's drubbing at the hands of Barcelona, but I think that Fiorentina can successfully do some of the same things that Barcelona do (nowhere near as well, but maybe a poor man's version). I'm hoping that Lorenzo De Silvestri will have recovered from his massive effort on Tuesday night to give it a go again, to give Fiorentina the same attacking options down the right that Vargas does down the left. Without the enforcer Donadel in the middle, it will be up to Zanetti and Ricky Monty to control possession in the middle of the field. I'm not sure what happened, but it looks like our boy Ricky Monty has his swag back. Let's hope it stays because he's been on fire of late.
Lineups, aka Blind Guess Dept:
Fiorentina: 4-2-3-1; Bassy; LDS, Gamberini/Kroldrup, Dainelli, Pasqual; Zanetti, RickyMonty; Marchionni, Santana, Vargas; Gila Monster.
Inter: 4-3-1-2; Cesar, Zanetti, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu; Motta, Cambiasso, Muntari; Stankovic; Eto’o, Milito.
The game will be live on FSC starting at 9am EST on Sunday.
I'm feeling very optimistic about this one. I think Inter are vulnerable here, possibly hanging their heads a little bit and Fiorentina played well against them both times last year, and Inter relied heavily on the brilliance of that ugly guy who doesn't play there any more to get the one win. I'm thinking 2-1 to the Viola with the goals by RickyMonty, Gila Monster and Milito.