While we’ve all heard the rumors that Giuseppe Iachini has been experimenting with new formations during the international break (3-4-3? 4-3-3? 4-2-3-1?), it’s tough to imagine Beppe abandoning his beloved 3-5-2. Even after the restart last year, when the press made a big deal about the move to a 3-4-3, it was really the same setup but with Rachid Ghezzal shuttling from central midfield to the right touchline in possession.
Until we see proof otherwise, we’ll continue to expect Fiorentina to line up with a front two. Franck Ribery is obviously pencilled in as a starter, but the identity of his striker partner remains a weekly mystery; there are at least four plausible options, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Against recently-promoted Spezia, we can expect the Viola to control the ball and dominate possession.
Christian Kouamé’s aerial prowess could prove critical against what will likely be a deep block from the Aquilotti, giving Cristiano Biraghi a target to aim for in the middle and occupying defenders to free up space for midfield runners, but his finishing has been wayward thus far. Dušan Vlahović offers better shooting from distance but tends to prefer galloping forward in the open field and isn’t much good in the air. Patrick Cutrone lacks the athleticism of the previous pair, but his excellent positioning means he could be the best chance to nick a scrappy poacher’s goal. And José Callejón offers the most experience and the sharpest movement, but he’s new to the team and far from being a natural striker.
Which of these four solid but deeply different forwards should Beppe trot out next to Ribery on Sunday?
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