Where We Are
Fiorentina have to be feeling confident and motivated ahead of their home Coppa Italia quarterfinal, with the mercato proving useful, Mario Gomez running around the practice fields, no goals conceded yet in 2014, and Udinese awaiting the winner in a two-legged semifinal. With the path to a cup final in Rome so manageable on paper, Vincenzo Montella emphasized all week that he will take no chances by making big changes to the side. Massimo Ambrosini will have to sit this one out with suspension, and Montella is unwilling to risk Matri, who has a tender hamstring muscle (understandable, since in 45 minutes with us he did more than in 3 months at Milan) but should be fine to face Genoa on Sunday.
We will return to the false 9 then, with Josip Ilicic asked to link play and create spaces for Juan Cuadrado and Joaquin on the wings. Alberto Aquilani will return to the lineup as the makeshift regista of a very technical midfield, with Borja Valero and Matias Fernandez ahead of him. Gonzalo Rodriguez will lead the defense as usual, with no fears of fatigue since he has to sit out Genoa this weekend due to yellow card accumulation. Facundo Roncaglia is expected to slot in for the injured Nenad Tomovic, who is looking at about 6 weeks out.
Where They Are
Mario Beretta has had an up and down first season as Siena manager, but his Coppa Italia run has certainly been a big "up." His side's 1-4 away win in Catania was as impressive as it was unexpected, but Siena haven't been able to demonstrate the same cynical attitude in most of their league campaign. They sit 14th, mainly thanks to a big 7 point penalty going into the season, which is making the difference in a very competitive Serie B this year. All the same, the 10 draws have penalized some very positive performances and good form, which has seen the Tuscan side undefeated since December 7th.
The odds are heavily stacked against Florence's historical rivals, with Siena having to play away to one of Serie A's best home performers, who are in sparkling (and balanced) form. Beretta's side is tactically well suited to match up against Fiorentina, with the wingbacks sitting deep and helping to deny space before breaking through Rosina and Gianetti, but while Montella is without a center forward again, the side has so much technical quality and fantasia that they should be able to break down the opponents behind an excited home crowd. FORZA VIOLA, CACCIA ALLA COPPA!
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Neto; Roncaglia, Rodriguez, Compper, Pasqual; M. Fernandez, Aquilani, Borja Valero; Cuadrado, Ilicic, Joaquin
Siena (3-4-2-1): Farelli; Matheu, Giacomazzi, Dellafiore; Angelo, Pulzetti, Valiani, Feddal; Rosina, Giannetti; Paolucci