Fiorentina are coming off a big win against Qarabag, however their Serie A form has remained inconsistent and the attack will need to show more against Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Torino, coming off an impressive win themselves after beating Roma 3-1.
Like Fiorentina, the 12th place (one behind Fiorentina) Torino has been up and down this year. In a very un-Mihajlovic like fashion, their attack has looked more promising than their defense (11 goals scored, 7 conceded), although these numbers are inflated by big wins against Roma and Bologna, with two 0-0 draws with Empoli and Pescara sandwiched in between.
The forward trident of Andrea Belotti, one of the emerging talents of Italian football, Roma loanee Iago Falque, and Adem Ljajic is deadly if they all can be healthy at the same time, however it looks like the ex-Fiorentina man will miss this match through injury.
There is good news for the Fiorentina defense as Davide Astori and Gonzalo Rodriguez both made the squad, recovered from the injuries that forced them to miss the Europa League outing.
The attack had shown signs of life against Azerbaijani side Qarabag. Paulo Sousa finally giving a chance to Khouma Babacar, combined with Nikola Kalinic working hard and the return of Mauro Zarate seems to offer the potential for goals, although it remains to be seen if they can hold up against stronger competition. With only 5 goals in 5 games, they need to do better even with a more defensive identity.
For this game however, it appears Sousa is going back to using Kalinic as a lone striker supported by attacking midfielders Borja Valero and Josip Ilicic, with the other two forwards saved as bench options. Although Sebastian Cristoforo was excellent during the midweek, it is probable that Milan Badelj will return to start alongside Carlos Sanchez, now a club mainstay, while the wing options could go many different ways.
Torino (4-3-3) Hart; De Silvestri, Bovo, Castan, Barecca; Benassi, Valdifiori, Acquah; Iago, Boyé, Belotti
FIORENTINA: (3-4-2-1) Tatarusanu; Tomovic, Rodriguez, Salcedo; Bernardeschi, Sanchez, Badelj, Maxi Olivera; Illicic, Borja Valero; Kalinic
How to Watch
TV: North Americans are out of luck for this one, while in the U.K. it will be streaming only. For potential local options see here.
Online: In the U.K., check out BT Sport Streaming. If there are other legal options, look for them here.