Good afternoon everyone. As we speak the Viola have landed in Sicily, ahead of tomorrow's match. This will be the first of two matches this week for Fiorentina, with the next one coming on Saturday at the Franchi against Udinese. Obviously, we all know the situation, and the Viola will be looking to build upon the consecutive league victories against Napoli and Genoa.
Catania are sitting in 15th place on 32 points. Not particularly impressive, but they've been strong of late and pulled themselves out of the relegation zone since Sinisa Mihajlovic took control of the team. They're unbeaten in the last 4, which includes both a stunning 3-1 victory at home against Inter and last Sunday's 1-1 draw against the Flying Donkeys that has been marred by match fixing violations. They aren't particularly strong at home, with 5 wins, 5 draws and 4 losses, and to be honest I've never seen a particularly impressive atmosphere at the Angelo Massimino for anything besides the Sicilian derby against those loathsome Pink Sicilians. And, to top it off, their top 2 goalkeepers are injured. So, obviously Fiorentina need 3 points, but if the squad keeps their concentration and plays anything like they have for the last two matches, they should be able to take care of business.
The same 3 guys who missed on Saturday will miss again, Vargas, Marchionni and Gamberini. Babacar is still pretty excited about his goal, and this interview is well worth your time if you can understand Italian. Here are the players that made the trip: Avramov, Babacar, Bolatti, Comotto, De Silvestri, Donadel, Felipe, Frey, Gilardino, Gobbi, Jovetic, Keirrison, Kroldrup, Ljajic, Masi, Montolivo, Natali, Santana, Seculin, Zanetti.
There is not a whole lot to say here, other than Felipe's return will be welcome. It gives more depth at the back and allows Prandelli to decide how best to set up his players. I think we'll see Gobbi again deputizing for Vargas, after his excellent performance on Saturday. I'm unsure if Zanetti is ready to go from the beginning, so we might see Donadel alongside of RickyMonty. Otherwise, the plan will be pretty much the same, have RickyMonty, Gobbi and Jo-Jo create the chances, and hopefully Gila will finish them.
Lineups, aka Blind Guess Dept.
Fiorentina: 4-2-3-1: Bassy; LDS, Natali, Kroldrup, Felipe; Donadel, RickyMonty; Santana, Jo-Jo, Gobbi; Gila Monster.
Catania: Kosicky; Potenza, Silvestre, Terlizzi, Alvarez; Ledesma, Biagianti, Ricchiuti; Izco, Maxi Lopez, Mascara
Doesn't look good. We'll do the stream thing here from the 3:45 EST kickoff. (UPDATED with correct time)
Fiorentina keep rolling. 2-0. Jo-Jo and Gila.
Here's what else we should be pulling for: Bari to beat Samp at home, and draws between Genoa and Palermo and Napoli and Juve (Thursday).