Sinisa Mihajlovic brings his Sampdoria to Florence on a wave of good feeling, with the blucerchiati currently sitting above Fiorentina in the table. The Genoese club are in 4th place after winning 4 straight games conceding only a single goal. Samp most recently defeated Roma and Inter, and would love to add a third "big" scalp in a row with a victory against Fiorentina.
The viola are equally enjoying a fine vein of form, with Vincenzo Montella and his players suffering defeat only once in their last 18 games. A win could put Fiorentina back into fourth place with Roma beating Napoli earlier today, a 4th place position that would be only 4 points away from 2nd place AS Roma. Despite the run of games in March, the stakes remain very high.
Mario Gomez and Mohammed Salah are expected to start up front for Fiorentina, with Alessandro Diamanti potentially getting a surprise start ahead of Joaquin. Stefan Savic isn't fit yet, so Montella is expected to favor a back 4 with Micah Richards and Marcos Alonso in their respective defensive wide areas. Alberto Aquilani may get a rare start to preserve Matias Fernandez for the Coppa Italia match against Juventus on Tuesday.
For Sampdoria, keep an eye on recent Italy call-ups Eder and especially Roberto Soriano. The 24 year old Bayern Munich youth product seems to finally be hitting his stride in the heart of Mihajlovic's midfield. The opposition also boasts ex-Viola players Emiliano Viviano and Lorenzo De Silvestri.
It'll be intriguing to see which side is able to play more effectively on the break today, with both teams boasting excellent counterattacking options. While Sinisa would certainly treasure a big result against the club that fired him, Montella and company will present him a stiff challenge. Let's hope that Fiorentina can finally shake off their post-international break jinx and get a huge win in front of the home fans.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): NETO; RICHARDS, GONZALO, BASANTA, ALONSO; AQUILANI, BADELJ, BORJA VALERO; DIAMANTI, GOMEZ, SALAH
Sampdoria (4-3-3): Viviano; De Silvestri, Silvestre, Romagnoli, Regini; Obiang, Palombo, Soriano; Eto'o, Bergessio, Eder
The game will be broadcast live on both beIN Sport and fuboTV (requires membership) in the U.S.