Only pride will be at stake in the Tuscan derby for Fiorentina's neighbours Empoli on Sunday as after a superb season in Serie A, they find themselves in a position of mathematical safety. Coach Maurizio Sarri has his team in 13th after a steady season for the azzuri, their first back in Serie A since 2008. Veteran striker Massimo Maccarone has chipped in with ten goals, and will be looking to add to his tally. Empoli come into the game on a rich vein of form, fresh from a stunning 4-2 win against Napoli and a 1-0 triumph over Torino in their last two games.
The three points Sunday are paramount for the viola, as they look to secure 5th spot in Serie A for a Europa League berth next season. The match is sandwiched between the two legs of the Europa League semi final against Sevilla, but with a disastrous 3-0 defeat away from home in the first leg, coach Vincenzo Montella will surely be looking for a league victory to consolidate 5th place, in order to ensure that his team does not walk away with nothing to show for the season. The squad will be rotated, as expected, but with three goals between them last weekend against Cesena, it is to be hoped that starts for Alberto Gilardino and Josip Ilicic could prove fruitful once again. There is also an outside chance that Ciprian Tătăruşanu could replace Norberto Neto in goal after his recovery from injury.
Fiorentina have work to do to restore some pride after their mauling at the hands of Sevilla, and in a game against their traditionally smaller Tuscan counterparts, the viola face a must win game once again in a bid to salvage their season.
Empoli: (4-3-1-2) Sepe; Laurini, Tonelli, Rugani, Hysaj; Vecino, Valdifiori, Croce; Saponara; Maccarone, Pucciarelli.
FIORENTINA (4-3-3) NETO; RICHARDS, RODRIGUEZ, BASANTA, ALONSO; AQUILANI, PIZARRO, KURTIC; DIAMANTI, GILARDINO, ILICIC