It's time for a historic Coppa Italia match, as two titans renew their rivalry, and okay that's not really true. Fiorentina and Carpi have only ever played each other once, earlier this year. There's no rivalry to speak of; rather the opposite, as la Viola have sent a number of players (including Maxwell Acosty last year) on loan to the Modena club of late.
4:30 PM local, 10:30 AM EST
Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
The tifosi will be hoping a Coppa Italia match against a struggling team will be just the thing to raise their spirits. Although they still sit second in the table, the Viola have hit a rough patch, taking just 7 points from their last 5 matches, and badly need to right the ship. After being a heartbreaking elimination at the hands of Juventus (who else?) in the semi-finals last season, and a loss to Napoli in the previous edition, this is a competition that Fiorentina know well.
With a match against a surprising Chievo Verona on Sunday, Paulo Sousa may rotate his squad heavily. Jakub Błaszczykowski (knee) is the only injury concern. After a strong showing in the Europa League match against Belenenses, Gilberto may have done enough to draw a start. Also look for players like Mario Suárez and Matías Fernández to return to the starting XI. Luigi Sepe may continue his role as the cup goalkeeper, as well. Even with what could rather resemble a second-choice group of starters, Fiorentina should look to dictate possession and tempo in this one.
The Biancorossi have eliminated Livorno (2-0) and Vicenza (2-1) in the Coppa to reach this point. Their first-ever Serie A season has been a struggle, though, and they sit just 19th in the table. They've only won 2 games this season in the league, although they've held Napoli and AC Milan to scoreless draws at home. They may view the Coppa as their best chance for success this season, as staying in the top flight may prove too much for them. They're also notable for having a number of promising young players on loan from other clubs.
Manager Giuseppe Sannino replaced Fabrizio Castori last month, but hasn't really changed the club's fortunes. His formation is a 4-4-1-1, with two banks of four and a front two that look to combine on the break. The dangermen are target man Marco Boriello and versatile attacker (and Fiorentina loanee) Ryder Matos, who've scored 5 and 4 goals, respectively, this season. Juve loanee Luca Marrone, used as a holding midfielder, usually hits the long balls out to them. And former Fiorentina midfielder Andrea Lazzari is also may draw a start in this one as well. Sannino will probably look to replicate Juve's tactics by dropping deep and threatening through counterattacks and set pieces.
Fiorentina (3-4-1-2): Sepe; Roncaglia, Gonzalo, Astori; Gilberto, Suárez, Verdú, Pasqual; Fernandez; Rossi, Babacar
Carpi (4-4-1-1): Brkic; Wallace, Gagliolo, Letizia, Gabriel Silva; Martinho, Marrone, Gino, di Gaudio; Matos; Boriello
I'm calling an uninspiring 2-0 win for Fiorentina, with goals from Gonzalo off a Matigol setpiece and a poacher's tap in from Rossi. Fiorentina will see most of the ball, but won't generate as many chances as they want until later, when Carpi start throwing numbers forward.
How to watch
TV: If you have RAI 3, you're in luck. Otherwise, you're out of luck and will have to watch online.
Online: Here is a list of online viewing options. Any links to illegal streams will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned. As always, you can also follow along with us live on Twitter. If you haven't already, join the community on Viola Nation, and join in the discussion below. Forza Viola