A week after the London clash, Fiorentina and Tottenham Hotspur meet again. Artemio Franchi will host the biggest game of Europa League's round of sixteen. The viola have secured a good result at White Hart Lane, after a performance that went from horrible to more than decent. But despite 1-1 away being a positive score, Vincenzo Montella and the boys cannot afford to gift the whole half to the opponent again, like they did in London. It will take (at least) 90 minutes of hard work to beat one of the strongest teams in the competition.
And Montella will have to do that without Borja Valero and Ciprian Tatarusanu, both injured. Which means, Alberto Aquilani back in the starting eleven (either that or Milan Badelj), and more interestingly, Neto back in goal. The Brazilian will be on the pitch for the first time in 2015, and the first time since rejecting definitely to sign a new contract. With the reports of him having a deal with Juventus, it will be interesting to see how will the fans react to him, and will it affect his performance and result.
Fiorentina are expected to start in a 4-3-3 formation. Montella has learned his lesson in the first half of the first leg, when Tottenham dominated against our 3-5-2 and when Androws Townsend had a field day against Manuel Pasqual on the flank. While it is likely Pasqual will start again, he will not be all alone on the left, so it should be easier to deal with Spurs' wide threat. Micah Richards will start on the other side, with Gonzalo Rodriguez and Stefan Savic in the middle of defense.
David Pizarro and Mati Fernandez will certainly start, but it might take until the very last moment for Montella to decide between Aquilani and Badelj. There are no doubts up front, with Joaquin and Mohamed Salah flanking Mario Gomez.
Visitors will certainly be motivated after a not so great result from the first match, but with the League Cup final this weekend, they are likely to rest few players. The Spurs' biggest star, Harry Kane is probably not going to start, but we saw a week ago that even an almost forgotten Roberto Soldado can be really dangerous.
Probable line ups:
Fiorentina (4-3-3): Neto; Richards, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Savic, Pasqual; Mati Fernandez, Pizarro, Badelj; Joaquin, Gomez, Salah
Tottenham (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Walker, Fazio, Vertonghen, Davies; Paulinho, Bentaleb; Townsend, Eriksen, Chadli; Soldado