Where We Are
FIORENTINA Serie A Record 2-1-0 (7 pts, T-4th)
The scoreline against Pacos de Ferreira was maybe more emphatic than the performance warranted, but in the final 20 minutes we fans were treated to seeing Fiorentina move and flow in the Montella Style we know and love from last year's high points. The team will be eager to recreate that free-flowing but clinical football away in a hostile environment against la Dea, especially when looking at the coming fixture list.
Expect Montella to opt for the recently successful 4-3-1-2, with Borja Valero behind the strikers and Matias Fernandez in midfield for the suspended David Pizarro. Giuseppe Rossi, Fiorentina's form man with 4 goals in 5 games in all competitions, is the fixed point up front, with Joaquin likely to be given another chance partnering him after an uncertain display against Pacos. Stefan Savic may also make his return from injury, and Ante Rebic is waiting in the wings to make his Fiorentina debut. Iakovenko and Iličić lack match fitness, but will likely feature soon given the density of fixtures arriving.
Fiorentina Squad: Alonso, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Borja Valero, Bakić, Compper, Fernandez, Joaquin, Lupatelli, Matos, Munua, Neto, Pasqual, Rebić, Rodriguez, Roncaglia, Rossi, Savić, Tomović, Vargas, Wolski.
Where They Are
Atalanta Serie A Record 1-0-2 (3 pts, T-13th)
The nerazzurri host Fiorentina in the midst of a tough beginning to their season, having already lost away to Cagliari and Napoli, and a visit from wild-card team Udinese coming soon. Their mister Stefano Colantuono is now one of the longer serving managers in Serie A and has given Atalanta solidity and staying power in Serie A without solving their worst problem: an inability to score goals. Inter youth product Marko Livaja and Giacomo Bonaventura are generally charged with the creative responsibilities, but their form has been inconsistent, and both rarely start. Atalanta will be without their regista Luca Cigarini because of a red card obtained in their defeat against Napoli last week, so expect ex-Viola Giulio Migliaccio to enter the midfield with talented young Italian Daniele Baselli. German Denis remains the fixed point of the Bergamasco attack but is yet to score his first goal of the season. Veteran yellow-card obtainer and former Milan man Mario Yepes leads their defensive effort alongside current Atalanta top scorer and Bomber Gonzalo admirer Guglielmo Stendardo.
Last year's match ended 0-2 to la Viola with a penalty kick converted by Pizarro and Marcelo Larrondo scoring a goal so beautiful that I burst out laughing to clinch a valuable away win. Before that away success, however, Fiorentina had lost the previous two trips to Bergamo against Colantuono's men. Here's to hoping that we've
Atalanta (3-5-1-1) Consigli; Lucchini, Yepes, Stendardo; Del Grosso, Carmona, Baselli, Migliaccio, Raimondi; Bonaventura; Denis
FIORENTINA (4-3-1-2) Neto; Tomovic, Gonzalo, Savic, Pasqual; Aquilani, Ambrosini, Fernandez; Borja Valero; Joaquin, Rossi