In his press conference, Vincenzo Montella described the lurching form of Fiorentina as a "lack of mental lucidity" as opposed to a physical one, but there was an unmistakable whiff of tiredness about the Viola performance at home against Milan on Wednesday. Certainly our boys were unlucky, and things might have been different if Alessandro Matri hadn't continued his agonizingly poor play, but it is difficult to argue that the KO against Milan was undeserved.
Now Fiorentina march into Genoa to face one of the most in-form teams in Serie A, a Sampdoria side that under ex-Viola coach Sinisa Mihijlovic have won 4 of their last 5. Not only are the opponents looking sharp, but Montella has a host of absences to contend with. Gonzalo Rodriguez is suspended due to yellow card accumulation, and both Manuel Pasqual and Juan Manuel Vargas are absent due to minor injuries, leaving a makeshift defense of Nenad Tomovic, Modibo Diakite, Stefan Savic, and Facundo Roncaglia to keep Sampdoria from scoring. In midfield David Pizarro is unlikely to be fit enough to start, while Montella confirmed that he will once again attempt to give confidence to Alessandro Matri as the center of the attack.
As far as the Doria are concerned, they only have to do without young fullback Vasco Regini, and otherwise boast a healthy roster. Fiorentina will have to beware bursts from dangerous and developing players like Manolo Gabbiadini and Nenad Krsticic, as well as former Fiorentina player Lorenzo De Silvestri on the right side. Sampdoria will be eager to continue their surge into the top half with a the scalp of a superior opponent, and Mihajlovic in particular will certainly be eager to prove his worth to the fans who wanted (want) him far away from their team.
This game unquestionably falls at the wrong time for a weakened and emotionally spent Fiorentina, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a victory is out of the question, with a very Viola creative midfield expected to start and (hopefully) dictate the rhythm of play; at the same time, an already suspect defense deprived of Gonzalo Rodriguez will tremble at times, especially on the road. Let's hope for a gigantic victory that sends us into the final months of the season more confident and secure in 4th place, FORZA VIOLA!
Sampdoria (4-3-3) Da Costa; De Silvestri, Mustafi, Gastaldello, Costa; Soriano, Palombo, Krsticic; Gabbiadini, Maxi Lopez, Eder
FIORENTINA (4-3-3) Neto; Tomovic, Diakite, Savic, Roncaglia; Mati Fernandez, Aquilani, Borja Valero; Cuadrado, Matri, Ilicic