After their match was abandoned less than half an hour in back on 11 September of this year, Fiorentina and Genoa will finally finish the encounter, which was scoreless when the match was called. As you may remember, the Grifoni had actually looked the more dangerous side, but 3 months (and a dry playing surface) can change everything.
The match will be played on Thursday, 15 December 2016, at 7 PM CST/2 PM EST, at the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris in Genoa.
The Rossoblu are W1 D2 L2 over their last 5 matches, although the win—an astonishing 3-1 over Juventus—is a good reminder that this team has a lot of talent, even if they’re currently sitting in 12th place, although a win here could push them into 10th, trailing Inter Milan on goal difference.
Manager Ivan Juric is still missing star striker Leonardo Pavoletti, so expect him to field Giovanni Simeone (yes, Diego’s son) up top in his stead. The rest of the team is a bit harder to predict; Juric always plays 3 at the back and 2 sturdy central midfielders, but the attacking players vary in format. With their pace at the top, this is a team that thrives on the break, but can have trouble breaking down a disciplined defense.
Paulo Sousa will desperately want to continue the run of form Fiorentina are suddenly showing, and he won’t mind if it’s another grinding win rather than an elegant stroll for the 3 points. A win or a draw would be enough to leapfrog Atalanta into 6th place, just beneath Lazio for the final European spot; it’d be awfully nice to finish in the continental places for the winter after a rather chaotic autumn.
Sousa has a full squad for the first time this season, now that Hernan Toledo is finally healthy (although likely to play with the Primavera until he’s up to speed). The only exception is Carlos Salcedo, who’s suspended for this one after yet another yellow card last week. We can probably expect a 4-2-3-1. Borja Valero should return to the midfield. The biggest question is probably whether Federico Chiesa will get a chance to keep up his streak of starts on the right, but Cristian Tello will probably get the nod, as it’s a big ask of a 19-year-old to start 3 matches in a week. Nikola Kalinic will play up top.
Genoa (3-4-2-1): Perin; Munoz, Burdisso (c), Izzo; Lazovic, Rincon, Veloso, Laxalt; Gakpe, Ocampos; Simeone
Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Tomovic, Gonzalo (c), Astori, Milic; Valero, Badelj; Tello, Ilicic, Bernardeschi; Kalinic
How to watch
TV: BeIn Sports has picked this one up, so check your listings.
Online: Here are your safe, legal, and reliable options.
Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department
That frontline is too fast for me to envision a clean sheet for the good guys, so let’s call it a 1-2, with Federico Bernardeschi and Kalinic for the Viola and Simeone for the Grifoni.