After a rough, ugly start to the season, Stefano Pioli’s Fiorentina is suddenly showing life, having now won three in a row, most convincingly thrashing Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Torino 3-0 in Florence this week.
To keep the good times coming, the purple boys head to Calabria in hopes to avoid what could be a trap match. The match against Crotone will take place on Sunday, 29 October 2014, at 14:00 GMT / 09:00 EST at the Stadio Ezio Scida.
16th place Crotone has, so far at least, not had a season to remember. Davide Nicola’s side is coming off of two losses, although this week’s match against Roma, a 1-0 loss decided by a controversial penalty, had the Gli Squali show signs of life following the previous week’s 5-0 destruction at the hands of Sampdoria.
With only 6 goals scored so far, their attack has been particularly listless. Last years top scorer, Diego Falcinelli, has returned to Sassuolo following a successful loan spell, and the return of Ante Budimir has not lead to much production, while Mario Sampirisi and midfielder Oliver Kragl remain out injured.
The Viola had their most convincing win of the season mostly thanks to Marco Benassi and Giovanni Simeone, perhaps their two most important summer signings, both having their best games yet following an upwards trajectory. Benassi, who is finally showing his talent since he has been given more freedom to roam around instead of being stuck trying to do a trequartista impression, now has two goals in two matches and again looks like the guy he was before Sinisa benched him at Torino. Cholito, meanwhile, was perhaps the best player against Torino, and with two goals and two assists in four games, he is showing that he can develop into a more complete forward with the right assistance.
Fiorentina will be without the injured Cyril Thereau, however there is plenty of more firepower available, including Valentin Eysseric, Simone Lo Faso, and the always brilliant Federico Chiesa, while in defense the center back pair of Davide Astori and German Pezzella looks here to stay.
Crotone (4-4-2): Cordaz; Sampirisi, Ceccherini, Simic, Martella; Rohden, Mandragora, Barberis, Stoian; Budimir, Nalini
Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Sportiello; Laurini, Pezzella, Astori, Biraghi; Badelj, Veretout; Benassi, Eysseric, Chiesa; Simeone
How to watch
In the U.S. this game will be available to stream legally through BeIN Sports Connect or fuboTV, which won’t help me personally from the U.K. this weekend where I’m out of luck. For local TV or streaming options, check here.