Fiorentina have a final preseason tuneup before they dive into Coppa Italia qualifying next week, and it’s a doozy. Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray comes to the Franchi for the first time, as these two have never met in a competitive match.
The match will be played on Sunday, 11 August 2019, at 7:00 PM Friday GMT/3:00 PM EST at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence. The forecast calls for heat. No rain. No real wind. Just heat. We may need some water breaks in there to make sure nobody gets hurt.
After a slow start to the mercato, Fiorentina have been might busy of late. Over the past two weeks, they’ve signed Kevin-Prince Boateng, Pol Lirola, Milan Badelj, and Erick Pulgar, all of whom are expected to slot into the first XI this season, although Pulgar (the most recently-arrived) may start from the bench in this one. We’re not ruling out another transfer announcement before kickoff, either, but whoever it is would likely watch from the stands.
Mister Vincenzo Montella should trot out a new midfield. With Badelj almost a certainty to start, it’ll be interesting to see the Croatian’s relationship with Pulgar if they play together. Just as interesting will be Boateng’s role; the veteran Ghanaian will likely play through the middle, but could wind up as the starting striker or as an attack-minded midfielder. It’ll also be good to see Federico Chiesa and Germán Pezzella get starts as well.
Now that these guys have had a little bit of time to play together, we’re more interested in seeing how they interact on the pitch. Lirola’s forward jaunts should allow Chiesa to move infield as a second striker, which should be fascinating. The other winger’s identity will also be worth watching, as Marco Benassi and Riccardo Sottil will both pinch in, allowing Cristiano Biraghi (assuming he’s fit) room to overlap as well. In short, this has the makings of a very exciting young team and we can’t wait to see them interpret Vinnie’s instructions; if we’re any judge, we think that this edition of the Viola could well reclaim their spot as every neutral’s favorite Italian squad.
It’s a good time to support Cimbom, who are coming off back-to-back wins in the Süper Lig. Success outside Turkey, though, has proven elusive, as they haven’t made it past the group stage in the Champions League since 2013, which has some of the fans a bit itchy; after all, this is the Avrupa Fatihi (“Conqueror of Europe”), so expectations remain very high. On the other hand, they just won more silverware a few days ago in the form of a Supercup win over Akhisarspor, so it’s not like things are desperate.
Manager Fatih Terim, who took charge of the Viola in 2000 for a season (yes, that was right after Gabriel Batistuta’s departure, so don’t think too harshly of him), generally sticks to a 4-2-3-1. He likes to keep it very compact through the middle and focuses on wing play, which suits his personnel: with tricky players like Sofiane Feghouli, Emre Mor, Jimmy Durmaz, and Ryan Babel available out wide, it makes sense, especially with Kostas Mitroglu lurking in the middle.
As mentioned, those guys out wide are very tricky, both at driving past markers and winning fouls. With a rugged back 6, Galatasaray provide a serious threat from set pieces. Expect them to focus on the wings and the channels, which will make Fiorentina’s apparent approach of bringing the fullbacks high up a very interesting stylistic clash. On the back foot, Aslanar (the Lions, because Galatasaray has too many rad nicknames for one article) get their fullbacks forward as well, so watch for Chiesa working the space in behind former Inter Milan star Yuto Nagatomo.
How to watch
TV: Nope. Check here for full international listings, but nope.
Online: Here is your source for safe, reliable, and legal streams. Since the only country with an official live broadcast as of now is Turkey, we’re expecting Fiorentina to stream it on Viola Channel and maybe on Facebook. We’ll update when we get confirmation.
Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department
lol who cares it’s preseason yall