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Fiorentina vs Crotone: Preview

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The Viola host the Serie A bottom-dwellers in what could easily be a midweek letdown, especially with all the exes the Pitagorici bring with them.

ACF Fiorentina v Atalanta BC - Serie A
Berna bearing down on bears. Goals, rather. Not bears.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

It’s time for a Serie A match that we should probably expect the Gigliati to win. Interestingly enough, this is the first ever meeting between the two sides. Referee Claudio Gavillucci takes the reins for this one. He’s only worked a single previous Fiorentina match, a 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona last year.

The match will take place on Wednesday, 26 October 2016, at 7:45 PM CST/2:45 PM EST in the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Fiorentina

What a difference a few days make, eh? After sitting in 14th place in Serie A last week with just 6 goals scored through 9 matches. A 5 goal outburst at Cagliari, coupled with another 3 in the midweek Europa League match against Slovan Liberec, seems to have instilled a new confidence in the players and the fans, as well as shown a new tactical blueprint for Paulo Sousa.

After the success of the 4-2-3-1ish shape he deployed in Sardinia, Sousa probably won’t tinker too much. Matias Vecino showed that he’s not comfortable as a pure holding midfielder, so Milan Badelj is probably the choice to join Borja Valero in the middle since Carlos Sanchez irritated the mister so much against Cagliari. Sousa probably won’t fiddle with his attacking quartet too much, although Khouma Babacar and Mauro Zarate could both make appearances.

Crotone

The Serie A newcomers have just a single point thus far—and none away from home—and have compiled a goal difference of -13. The were raided pretty hard following their promotion last year, losing a number of important contributors, and didn’t adequately replace them. New manager Davide Nicola has, like his squad, looked entirely out of his depth.

Nicola still doesn’t seem sure of his best shape, but has been sticking to a 4-3-3 for the past couple of weeks. Adrian Stoain’s pace is probably their greatest weapon out wide, balanced by the veteran trickery of Raffaele Palladino on the other side. The relative speed of Diego Falcinelli will probably be preferred to the strength and aerial threat of massive Nigerian hitman Simy. They’ll sit back and try to break quickly, with the central midfield trying to break up the Viola’s playmakers rather than create much themselves.

Also, there’s a sizable group of Viola exes in this team, headlined by former top prospect Leonardo Capezzi, who surprisingly moved to Crotone after Corvino was unable to sign him to an extension in time. A similar issue occurred with winger Nicolo Fazzi. Finally, Bleedin’ Aleandro Rosi may well draw the start as well after scoring last week against Napoli.

Possible lineups

Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Tomovic, Gonzalo, Astori, Milic; Valero, Badelj; Tello, Ilicic, Bernardeschi; Kalinic

Crotone (4-3-3): Cordaz; Rosi, Ferrari, Claiton, Martella; Rohden, Crisetig, Capezzi; Stoian, Falcinelli, Palladino

How to watch

TV: If you’re not already in Italy, forget it.

Online: Here is your list of streams that are legal, reliable, and malware-free.

Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department

This looks like the kind of match that Fiorentina will take a lead and then kill off in the most boring way possible. Let’s call it a 2-0, with goals for Ilicic and Bomber Gonzalo.