As anyone who is still following this club at this time should be well aware of, Paulo Sousa’s Fiorentina is not having the best of time. Fresh off a dire, undeserved 1-0 win at home against Cagliari, where Nikola Kalinic was able to steal 3 points in stoppage time, the Viola now travel to Calabria to take on the struggling Crotone.
This will only be the second time these two clubs meet. In October, the teams played to a 1-1 draw at the Artemio Franchi, the first ever away point for the Squali in Serie A.
This match will be played on Sunday, March 19 2017 at 4 PM CET/10 AM EST at the Stadio Ezio Scida in Crotone. The referee will be Luca Pairetto, who has given 57 yellow cards and 6 reds in 13 matches this season.
Davide Nicola’s Crotone side has had a difficult, albeit historic first season in Serie A - With 15 points in 28 games, they are in 19th place and are 8 points away from safety, making survival increasingly unlikely. They have only scored 21 goals, second worst in the league, and their defense isn’t much better, with 48 conceded. Nevertheless, all 3 of their wins have been at home.
Crotone is coming off a 3-0 loss to Napoli where they played better than the scoreline indicates, following some controversial referee decisions.
Up front Diego Falcinelli, on loan from Sassuolo, has been their one significant threat, having scored 8 goals so far this season. Their midfield includes two other significant loanees, Lorenzo Crisetig from Bologna and Leonardo Capezzi from Sampdoria, who might be more well known around here for being a Fiorentina youth product and native of Florence.
Other options include two other Fiorentina veterans - Gahanian youth product Maxwell Acosty and the legendary Aleandro Rosi, who returns from suspension. Their defense will be missing injured Brazilian veteran Claiton Dos Santos.
Although Europa League qualification isn’t impossible, Fiorentina remain in 8th place and have virtually nothing to play for at this point. Paulo Sousa is on borrowed time and it is likely that at least a few of the starters on Sunday will no longer be on this team next year, including Ciprian Tatarusanu (who is having an excellent season, especially since Marco Sportiello was acquired, but the youngish Italian is supposed to be the keeper of the future), Milan Badelj, Nikola Kalinic, and captain Gonzalo Rodriguez.
Kalinic remains the point on attack, and although the Viola has been inconsistent in the goals department, his movement has combined nicely with the skill of Federico Bernardeschi and Federico Chiesa, and more recently Riccardo Saponara, who is quickly surpassing Josip Ilicic in squad depth.
Sousa will likely continue to try his preferred 3 man backline, and with Nenad Tomovic tragically suspended, there is a possibility we will see the out of favor Carlos Salcedo.
Crotone (4-4-2): Cordaz; Sampirisi, Dussenne, Ferrari, Martella; Rhoden, Capezzi, Crisetig, Stoian; Trotta, Falcinelli
Fiorentina (3-4-2-1): Tatarusanu; Rodriguez, Astori, Salcedo; Olivera, Vecino, Valero, Chiesa; Bernardeschi, Saponara; Kalinic
How to watch
TV: If you are in Italy, Sky Calcio 3. Latin America? ESPN. Middle East? beIN Sports. In an Anglo country? Forget it. Check here for other local options.
Online: Here is a list of safe, reliable, and legal streams, including beIN Sports Connect.