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Could a change of formation be the answer to Fiorentina’s problems?

Stefano Pioli is thinking about changing the system and 4-3-3 could be the answer.

ACF Fiorentina v Atalanta BC - Serie A
Pioli is pondering a change of system
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Following the defeat to Chievo, Stefano Pioli is thinking about changing the system from the usual 4-2-3-1. The most obvious and easy change would be to move to a 4-3-3.

With the addition of Marco Benassi over the summer, it hasn’t been the best start to his Viola career. If Pioli did move to 4-3-3 he would be the main beneficiary. It’s obvious that he isn’t an attacking midfielder and playing deeper in a trio with Milan Badelj and Jordan Veretout could create some stability in the middle. This would give a trio up top of potentially Gil Dias, Giovanni Simeone and Federico Chiesa. The defense would pretty much stay the same as usual; it's the inclusion of the third central midfielder which could sure up the midfield.

The main strength is the midfield. It’s a system that would be ideal when the Viola want to play on the counter-attack. It adds a bit more fluidity with Badelj playing in the defensive midfield role with Veretout and Benassi potentially creating plays. exploit the width by playing Gil Dias and Chiesa on either side. Against teams where Fiorentina wouldn't have much of the ball, it could work as a defensive strategy by adapting to a 4-5-1 however when Fiorentina are on defence. On the flip side when Fiorentina have the ball Chiesa and Gil Dias further can push further forward. By harrying the opposition's defence, it can create mistakes so Fiorentina can win the ball higher up the pitch.

The main weakness would it would mean that the likes of Valentin Eysseric or Riccardo Saponara would find opportunities through the middle limited. This could also leave Simeone isolated at times going forward through the middle. With wingers playing its vital that the fullbacks are in sync with the wingers, whether they are overlapping or if the full backs need help on the defensive side. Also, Fiorentina can use inverted wingers with Biraghi overlapping Chiesa to create added width. Chiesa’s goal against Bologna is a perfect example of this working.