Fresh off a 2-2 draw against AS Roma, Fiorentina have no time to shake themselves awake, as they return to Tuscany to take on Frosinone. This will be just the 4th-ever competitive meeting between then two, which seems impossible. The Viola are undefeated against the Ciociari with a win and two draws. In their meeting earlier this year, a typically wasteful Fiorentina let Frosinone steal a point with a late goal in a 1-1 draw.
The referee for this one is
The match will be played on Sunday, 7 April 2019, at 10:30 AM GMT/6:30 AM EST, at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. The forecast predicts a chilly, rainy spring day, so expect a well-soaked pitch that could work in the visitors’ favor.
The Viola have played 30 matches this year and drawn half of them. That’s tied for the most since 2014-2015, when Empoli drew a mind-boggling 18 games. With 8 matches left, nobody’s betting against the Viola pulling ahead. When you’ve got just one win since the start of February, that’s the sort of record you’re left pursuing. And that’s how you wind up 10th in the table with 39 points, 9 behind the final Europa League spot, and definitionally mid-table.
Manager Stefano Pioli at least will get Federico Chiesa back after Our Lord and Savior played 30 minutes in the midweek after his injury layoff. CM Edimilson Fernandes (leg) remains doubtful, but the only real question is whether Fede is fit enough to start. Regardless, we know what to expect from this squad, and Chiesa’s presence won’t change the style.
With the lumbering Bartosz Salamon on the right of the defense, expect to see Chiesa and Luis Muriel really attack the Pole, both with and without the ball, especially since Cristiano Biraghi should occupy opposing wingback Andrea Beghetto. Since the Ciociari midfield will sit deep and try to break up play, this feels like a good game for Gerson to provide some drive from the midfield as well. Frosinone are also pretty bad at defending set pieces, so the Viola defenders should relish a chance to get on the scoresheet from any dead ball situation.
To nobody’s real surprise, the Canarini are returning to Serie B next season. It’s not a mathematical certainty yet, but they only lead Chievo Verona and, with just 20 points on the year, they’re 8 behind Empoli and safety. On the other hand, they have more wins in the league than Fiorentina since the start of February, so it’s not like the Viola can afford to overlook them, especially as the pressure builds on the players to make a heroic push to prolong the Serie A dream for another precious year.
Manager Marco Baroni (whose son Riccardo Baroni grew up in the Fiorentina academy before joining Virtus Entella this year) will probably lack midfielders Federico Viviani (leg) and Mirko Gori (ankle), but the Florence-born mister knows how he’ll set out: in a 3-4-1-2 that sits deep, plays very physically, and tries to attack on the counter. Imagine a slightly less masterful Rolando Maran side without even the quality that the shithouse master himself gets to work with.
Insomuch as a team that’s scored just 24 goals this year can be said to have a dangerman, it’s Inter Milan loanee Andrea Pinamonti, who blasted in a late equalizer last time these two met, and veteran forward Camillo Ciano, who plays as the enganche and leads the club with 7 goals. With the lumbering Bartosz Salamon on the right of the defense, expect to see Federico Chiesa and Luis Muriel really attack the Pole, both with and without the ball, especially since Cristiano Biraghi should occupy opposing wingback Andrea Beghetto.
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Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department
Again, Frosinone have won more matches than Fiorentina in the past two months, so this is not exactly a team to take lightly. However, the Canarini simply don’t have the quality to stop both Chiesa and Muriel for 90 minutes, and Pioli’s policy of hoping one of those two can do something marvelous should pay off this time. We’re calling for a 2-0 with goals from Fede and (gasp) a debut strike from Tòfol Montiel. What, a boy can dream, can’t he?