After a crushing, controversial draw against an Atalanta team that quite frankly outplayed them, Fiorentina are set to return to Verona, the site of their most enjoyable moment of the season so far, this time to take on Chievo Verona. The 11th place Flying Donkeys (ahead of Fiorentina right now in the standings) are inconsistent but should be a significantly tougher test than city rivals Hellas Verona were.
The match will be played on Sunday, 1 October 2017, at 2:00 PM GMT/9:00 AM EST at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi
Rolando Maran’s Flying Donkeys have been road warriors so far this season, having only accumulated a single point at home so far, with their other seven points coming from away matches. A counter attacking side strong on set pieces, Chievo’s attack comes from the talent of capable players like Lucas Castro and Roberto Inglese.
Left back Massimo Gobbi is still recovering from an injury, preventing Chievo from fielding an all Fiorentina veteran defensive lineup alongside Nenad Tomovic, Alessandro Gamberini, and Dario Dainelli. Veteran forward Riccardo Meggiorini also remains out following a horrible injury at the end of last season.
Stefano Pioli’s Viola side took a step back last week - following a hard fought victory against Bologna and a good defensive display in their loss against Juventus, Fiorentina got significantly outplayed by a high flying Atalanta side, although they almost stole the win thanks to Federico Chiesa and Marco Sportiello. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, if only due to dubious referee decisions. Nevertheless, Fiorentina were lucky to be in that position to begin with.
Fiorentina continue to look for an attacking midfielder who can successfully tie the midfield with the forwards. Although Pioli continues to insist on playing Marco Benassi in that role, he finally dropped him last week in favor of Cyril Thereau. The return of Riccardo Saponara will hopefully provide the missing link for that role.
In the defense, with Cristiano Biraghi recovering from an injury he picked up last match, we will likely get the Maxi Olivera experience, which will mean less attacks from the left flank.
Chievo (4-3-1-2): Sorrentino; Tomovic, Dainelli, Gamberini, Cacciatore; Castro, Radovanovic, Hetemaj; Birsa; Inglese, Pucciarelli
Fiorentina (4-2-3-1): Sportiello; Bruno Gaspar, Pezzella, Astori, Maxi Olivera; Badelj, Vertout; Benassi, Thereau, Chiesa; Simeone
How to watch
TV: This is not gonna happen, at least not in the Anglosphere. Look for local options here.
Online: Here’s your list of legal streams, increasingly both common and high quality.
Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department
Chievo are greater than the sum of their parts, but haven’t been particularly convincing at home this year. Not really expecting a classic here but even a 1-0 Fiorentina win would be very nice right now.