Fiorentina will take on their final scheduled warm-up before the Serie A season kicks off with a match against Serie B outfit Parma. It’ll be the first time these sides have met since a 3-0 triumph at the Franchi back in 2015. Over their last ten matches, the Viola are W3 D6 L1.
The match will be played Sunday, 13 August 2017, at 7:30 PM CST/2:30 PM EST at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.
Things don’t look quite as dire in Italy’s best city, as the arrivals of Valentine Eysseric and Marco Benassi have given the tifosi a couple of reasons for optimism. It also means that, for perhaps the first time this preseason, there’s actually a bit of competition for places in Stefano Pioli’s 4-2-3-1, particularly in central midfield and in the attacking band, although Riccardo Saponara (knee) and Milan Badelj (leg) remain injured and unavailable.
Marco Sportiello should start in goal, with Davide Astori and Vitor Hugo in the centerbacks. Bruno Gaspar and Maxi Olivera look like the first choices at fullback, although Nenad Tomović could also beat out the former. Central midfield could be interesting, as Jordan Veretout’s partner—whether Benassi, Carlos Sánchez, or Sebastian Cristoforo—remains unclear. The number 10 could be Matías Fernández or Eysseric, and Federico Chiesa on the right may be balanced out by Eysseric or Rafik Zekhnini on the left. Nikola Kalinić should start up top in hopes that he’ll score a goal or two and drive up his price a bit before his expected departure from the club.
Realistically, the Viola should boss this match. However, they haven’t had as much time to gel as you’d hope—the defense in particular has looked all sixes and sevens ((perhaps not so) coincidentally Bruno Gaspar’s shirt number)—and the midfield hasn’t seemed certain about its job in transition. Along with some cameos from the new signings, those will be the areas to really watch for.
After their financial failure led to bankruptcy, re-founding, and relegation from Serie A to Serie D in 2015, the Crociati have earned successive promotions and find themselves back in Serie B. They’ve brought in a host of new players to prepare for the challenge, including former Carpi striker Antonio di Gaudio and Hellas Verona winger Luca Siligardi. So far, though, it hasn’t quite worked as planned, as they suffered a 2-1 reversal to Bari in the Coppa Italia last week.
Manager Roberto D’Aversa likes a 4-3-3 with pace on the wings and steady grinding veterans elsewhere. Look for Fiorentina to target club captain Cristiano Lucarelli, who turned 40 last month and is still marshaling the backline. Also keep an eye on ex-Viola midfielder Gianni Munari, who’s nailed down a starting spot. Overall, this group will try to play on the break and feed relative whippersnapper Emanuele Calaiò (he’s 35) in the box.
How to watch
TV: Nah, brah.
Online: Viola Channel claims they will have this one covered, and they seem to be the only option.