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Empoli vs Fiorentina: Preview

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After what seemed like an eternal international break, Fiorentina is back in time for a Tuscan derby.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

This international break seemed longer than usual, but Fiorentina is back, and ready to head down the block to Stadio Carlo Castellani to take on neighbors Empoli this Sunday, November 18.

Empoli

In something of a transition season, Giovanni Martusciello's Empoli side is not having a particularly good year. Their 0-4 victory against Pescara before the break ended an 8 game goal drought and they will need to build on that for survival.

This game will be of special significance to former Fiorentina captain Manuel Pasqual, who moved to Empoli this summer following 11 years in viola. Trequartista Riccardo Saponara is the architect of Empoli's attack, having returned there after failing to break into the Milan squad. Saporana burst into tears after breaking his goal drought last game.

Fiorentina

The squad list includes no notable absences for this one; Nikola Kalinic appears to be healthy again after missing the international break with a hamstring injury.  The big surprise is that Paulo Sousa has called up American Joshua Perez for the first time. The speedy winger could make history as the first "offical" American to play for Fiorentina - Although Armando Frigo, Alfonso Negro, and more recently Giuseppe Rossi were all born and partially raised in the United States, they all had Italian passports.

Fiorentina is on something of an undefeated streak, but this is deceptive as the team has yet to achieve back to back wins, and Sousa hopes to see more intensity from his squad. Unfortunately the Viola does not always have the best track record when it comes to games after international breaks.

Possible lineups

Empoli (4-3-1-2): Skorupski; Bellusci, Cosic, Costa, Pasqual; Krunic, Diousse,Croce;Saponara;Maccarone,Pucciarelli

Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Salcedo, Rodriguez, Astori, Milicic; Vecino, B. Valero; Tello, Ilicic, Bernardeschi; Kalinic

How to watch

TV: Sky Calcio 2 in Italy, Fox Sports 2 in Latin America. In North America expect to stream, in the United Kingdom you may be out of luck. Check here for other local options.

Online: This game will be available via BeIN Sports Connect in the U.S. and Canada, as well as fuboTV. Check here for more information.

Stay tuned for match-day coverage, and Forza Viola!