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Match Preview: Chievo vs. Fiorentina

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Fiorentina kick off a big week of Serie A fixtures with a trip to Verona to play the (low) Flying Donkeys

Will the fenomeno keep scoring in Verona? Photo
Will the fenomeno keep scoring in Verona? Photo
Paolo Bruno

Where We Are

FIORENTINA (4-3-1 in Serie A, 6th at kick-off)

Vincenzo Montella's team enter this road game riding high after huge home wins against Juventus and in Europa League. The squad is looking healthy (except for the continued absence of Mario Gomez of course... whispers abound today that we may have to wait until the game against Udinese on November 24th to see him on the field again) and the strikers are finding the net regularly, a trend that we hope continues in Verona.

There's little in the way of breaking team news to report ahead of this game. Expect Montella to reintroduce the starters rested in midweek against Pandurii; Alberto Aquilani, Facundo Roncaglia, Manuel Pasqual, Stefan Savic, David Pizarro, Juan Cuadrado, and Giuseppe Rossi are all anticipated starters. Joaquin is also projected to start after his fantastic performance in the Europa League, and the module will likely favor his strengths in a return to the 4-3-3. Ambrosini and Ilicic remain out of the roster due to injury, although Ante Rebic may return to the bench today. There may be some last minute surprises with Montella looking ahead to the matches later this week against Napoli and at Milan.

Where They Are

Chievo Verona (1-1-6, 19th at kick-off)

While newly-promoted city rivals Hellas Verona are off to a soaring start to the campaign, the Flying Donkeys have been grounded by a sputtering offense. Head coach Giuseppe Sannino is already one of the managers on the Serie A chopping block after gaining only one win in 8 games, and upcoming matches don't look particularly kind. To make matters worse, Chievo have to cope with several absences in defense such as Gennaro Sardo and ex-Viola Dario Dainelli, as well as starting midfielder Luca Rigoni. Sannino is therefore expected to change module from the 3-5-2 utilized earlier in the season to a 4-4-2. Keep an eye on Cyril Thereau, a player with a great nose for goal often pegged for a move to Fiorentina.

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In this fixture last season an early Thereau goal was erased by a Bomber Gonzalo finish from a set piece, but another 1-1 scoreline would be perhaps even more unsatisfying this time around. Giuseppe Rossi will look to continue his scintillating form against a team full of absences and low on confidence, with the help of a rediscovered Joaquin. Keep an eye on the Fiorentina midfield as well, to see if Pizarro and Aquilani can regain their groove in Verona ahead of the next two games. Let's hope for three points and the minimum fuss! FORZA VIOLA!

Projected Lineups

Chievo Verona (4-4-2): Puggioni; Frey, Claiton, Cesar, Dramé; Estigarribia, Bentivoglio, Radovanovic, Hetemaj; Paloschi, Thereau

FIORENTINA (4-3-3) Neto; Roncaglia, Rodriguez, Savic, Pasqual; Aquilani, Pizarro, Borja Valero; Joaquin, Rossi, Cuadrado