This may be your last chance to watch some of Fiorentina’s best performers from last season before they’re all sold to various Serie A rivals, so don’t miss it. It’ll also be the first match of the season against a professional team, and should serve as a nice tuneup for Bari on Saturday.
The match will be played on Wednesday, 19 July 2017, at 5:30 PM local/11:30 AM EST at the Estadio Carlo Benatti in Moena, Italy.
Early speculation is that Stefano Pioli will use something roughly approximating his first XI to start this one out. That means Marco Sportiello in goal, Vitor Hugo and Davide Astori in the heart of the defense, Maxi Olivera and Nenad Tomović at the fullback spots, Milan Badelj and Matías Vecino in the middle, an attacking band of Federico Chiesa, Ianis Hagi, and Sebastian Cristoforo, with Khouma Babacar up top. Striker Nikola Kalinić has just rejoined the squad at Moena and probably won’t play much, if at all, while new boy Nikola Milenković will probably get a run at centerback as well. Riccardo Saponara and Matías Fernández are both injured and unavailable.
As fans, though, we’re not as interested in seeing a bunch of Serie A players beat up on amateurs. We want to see how some of the younger crowd does. Hagi running with the first team is exciting, but we’ll also be carefully watching guys like Gabriele Gori, Abdou Diakhate, Riccardo Sottil, Jaime Báez, and Andrés Schetino to see if they’re ready for the senior side.
The Trento-based (gasp) amateur side won the Eccellenza’s Trentino-Sudtirol division last year, so they’ll regain promotion to Serie D and the world of professional football, which is the highest amateur level of football in Italy and a step below Serie D. Originally founded in 1921, the team went bankrupt in 2014 following relegation to the Eccellenza. However, they were quickly reincorporated as the Associazione Calcio Trento Società Cooperativa Sportiva Dilettantistica. Their colors are yellow and blue, and their nickname is the Aquilotti, or Little Eagles. They’re fresh off a 7-0 loss to Napoli.
How to watch
TV: Dude, really? Of course not.
Online: Viola Channel will stream this one live, as will various other Fiorentina-themed media outlets.
Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department
Probably something like 6-0. Seeing whether Cristoforo operates as a number 10 or as more of a midfielder with the wingers pushing on will be a good way to judge Pioli’s flexibility. We’ll also be watching for how Hagi does with the older crowd.