With only five games left to play, Fiorentina have fallen to 7th place in Serie A after a horrendous month of April. Thankfully, those 5 games should be enough for the Viola to launch themselves into a Europa League position should the team start playing to their level again. What better game for Fiorentina to find winning ways again (and potentially regain 5th place) than against 19th Cesena?
The poor Seahorses have had a really rotten time of it in the second half of the season and are essentially relegated. They sit 8 points from safety and haven't won a game since March, although they have managed a couple creditable draws against Inter and Juventus in 2015. Cessna will have a mostly first choice team available for this match, and are expected to set up in a 4-3-1-2 that hopes to overload the center and create counterattacking opportunities.
In his pre-game press conference, Vincenzo Montella continued to maintain that the recent slide in Serie A was to be expected given the team's advancement in Europe. "Napoli also allowed 4 goals to Empoli, and they are in a European semifinal like us... On the psychological level, it's normal to lose something." But the aeroplanino refused to make excuses for this Sunday's game, adding that "it matters the attitude, not the people who play; tomorrow we absolutely must win."
Montella is nonetheless expected to rest key pieces of the team for this home match, with the first leg in Sevilla arriving on Thursday. Neither Joaquin nor Mohammed Salah are expected to start, and Gonzalo Rodriguez and David Pizarro may also be on the bench. Mario Gomez will also likely sit out in favor of veteran Alberto Gilardino. As the "mister" says, whoever starts, this is a must-win game for Fiorentina's pursuit of the European places. The Viola won the first meeting away from home in emphatic fashion; more of the same would be just what the team needs.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3): Tomovic, Savic, Basanta, Alonso; Kurtic, Badelj, Borja Valero; Diamanti, Gilardino, Ilicic
Cesena (4-3-1-2): Agliardi; Perico, Capelli, Krajnc, Renzetti; Carbonero, Cascione, Giorgi; Brienza; Defrel, Rodriguez