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Frosinone vs Fiorentina: Preview

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If Fiorentina lose this one, the chances of making the Champions League plummet. So no pressure, anyone.

Caravaggio-esque physical composition.
Caravaggio-esque physical composition.
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images
Frosinone vs. FiorentinaSunday 18 March 2016 4 PM local, 10 AM ET Stadio MatusaFrosinone, Italy

We thought that last week's match against a last-placed Hellas Verona would be a great place for Fiorentina to recover from some recent reverses, but boy were we wrong. Now, we get to do it all again against a struggling Frosinone that the Viola absolutely pasted 4-1 earlier in the season. With AS Roma facing Inter Milan matching up this weekend, a win would really help make up the 5 point gap between the good guys and the Lupi. The referee for tomorrow is old friend Paolo Valeri.

Frosinone

A club's first season in the top flight is usually rocky, and that's been the case for the Canarini. While they've had some high points (getting their first ever Serie A point in a draw against Juventus, for example), it's mostly been tough sledding; they sit in 18th, a point behind Palermo and the safety of 17th. They've actually perked up a bit in recent weeks, and although a loss to 19th-placed Carpi certainly stings, they held regional rival Lazio to a scoreless draw in their first-ever top flight derby. Over their last five, they're W2 D1 L2, which is probably their best stretch of the season.

Manager Roberto Stellone has one of the youngest squads in the league. He usually sets out in an energetic 4-3-3, with a midfield trio more focused on running than passing. With some pace out wide and up top, this is a typical lower-table set-up. He'll have to make do without centerback Adriano Russo (hamstring), rightback Bleedin' Aleandro Rosi (suspension), and midfielder Mirko Gori. The danger men are nippy wide man Federico Dionisi--8 goals, 4 assists, and 9 (!) yellow cards--and big penalty-box poacher Daniel Ciofani--8 goals of his own. Also keep an eye out for centerback Leonardo Blanchard on set pieces, as he's got 3 goals this season.

Fiorentina

Reeling doesn't begin to describe the Viola right now. A dismantling at the hands of Roma two weeks ago and the world's most uninspiring draw against the last-place team last week have fans wondering if third place is realistic. Three points at the Matusa would go a long way to quelling those fears, and launching the Gigliati upwards for a final, desperate assault on the Champions League places.

Paulo Sousa will probably field as close to his strongest lineup as possible. Expect returns for Gonzalo Rodríguez, Matías Vecino, Milan Badelj, Federico Bernardeschi, and Nikola Kalinić. With Nenad Tomović (knee) out until after Easter and Yohan Benalouane (fictional character) still not ready, Sousa has few options in the defense. Look for him to use the 4-2-3-1 in an effort to fit more attacking players on the pitch together. Manuel Pasqual, Valero, and Kalinić are all at risk of missing next week's match against Sampdoria due to yellow card accumulation.

Lineups from the Blind Guess Dept.

Frosinone (4-3-3): Leali; M Ciofani, Ajeti, Blanchard, Pavlović; Frara, Sammarco, Gori; Paganini, D Ciofani, Kragl

Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Roncaglia, Gonzalo, Astori, Alonso; Vecino, Badelj; Tello, Ilicic, Bernardeschi; Kalinic

How to watch

TV: No dice. Sorry, everyone.

Online: Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, we'll have a match thread live here for discussion of the game at hand. You can also follow along with us live on Twitter, and we'll have updates of the most important events on our Facebook page.