Fiorentina are still competing on three fronts at this stage of the season. With Serie A back this weekend after the Christmas break and the Champions League draw to look forward to next month, there is also the Coppa Italia to play for.
The group stage of the competition finally finished up yesterday, a couple of games had been delayed due to Covid19 issues, so the draw for the Quarter-Final stage could finally take place. Fiorentina were drawn with Inter, and as the Viola finished higher in last years Serie A, we will have home advantage for the second leg.
Fiorentina topped Group C, with a 6-1 win at Serie B side Riozzese and a 5-1 win over San Marino. Daniela Sabatino has scored four goals so far in the competition with Martina Piemonte on three goals. Inter also topped their group, but only on goal difference. They started off with a 4-0 win at Brescia, followed up with a 3-3 draw with another Serie B side, Lazio. Gloria Marinelli has scored three of Inter’s goals in the tournament.
Fiorentina and Inter last met on the first day of this seasons Serie A back in August, with a 4-0 home win for the Viola. At the moment the sides are level on points in the league table, both have recorded 4 wins and 4 defeats. Fiorentina will now travel to Milan to face Inter two weeks in a row. Their Serie A clash will take place on January 24th with the Coppa meeting between the sides due to be decided on the following weekend, January 30th/31st. The return leg of the quarter-final will take place in Florence on the weekend of the 13th/14th February.
On the same side of the quarter-final draw there will be a clash of the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in the league as Sassuolo take on Milan. If Fiorentina get past Inter, they will then meet the winner of that tie in the semi-final. On the other side of the draw Empoli will challenge league leaders and Supercoppa winners Juventus while Florentia San Gimignano face AS Roma.
Before the Coppa action, Fiorentina host San Marino this Sunday, kick-off at 14:30 CET. This is San Marino’s first ever season in the top flight, having gained two promotions in a row to come up from Serie C. As mentioned earlier, Fiorentina recorded a 5-1 win over this weekends opponents in the Coppa back in November.
⏪ | REWIND— ACF Fiorentina Femminile (@ACF_Womens) November 28, 2020
La vostra dose di goal per il weekend servita a San Marino! #ForzaViola #Fiorentina #CoppaItaliaFemminile pic.twitter.com/qLOA7mQNKR
At the moment San Marino find themselves in 10th place in the league, 5 points ahead of Bari and the relegation zone. Last time out, they had an important 4-2 win over their relegation rivals, with Raffaella Barbieri getting a hat-trick. Barbieri had come on as a second-half substitute with her side 2-1 down at the time, two of her three goals came from the penalty spot.
San Marino’s only other league win this season came at home to Florentia San Gimignano, a 1-0 win back in October. In September they pulled off an amazing comeback in their Coppa game with Riozzese. The Serie B side had taken a 3-0 lead by half-time, but San Marino scored 4 without reply after the break, with Barbieri again the hero, grabbing the winner four minutes into added time.
While San Marino haven’t played since that win over Bari in December, Fiorentina have had two Supercoppa clashes recently. The semi-final win over Milan was followed up by defeat to Juventus in last Sunday’s final. Fiorentina had to do without their coach Antonio Cincotta for those games, as well as a number of players due to injury and Covid.
Talking to the official Fiorentina website today, goalkeeper Katja Schroffenegger spoke of the positives that the squad can build on from the Supercoppa, such as how the team came together to overcome challenges like those players missing and the tactical changes required. She said that the win over Milan was a group win, while against Juventus they had defended as a team but unfortunately they didn’t have the edge needed in attack and so Juventus deserved their win.
TEAM TALK: KATJA SCHROFFENEGGER— ACF Fiorentina Femminile (@ACF_Womens) January 15, 2021
Affamata, lavoratrice, ambiziosa: Il portiere viola è pronta a mettersi in gioco al 100%: "Meritiamo di più!".
⏩ Guarda anche sul sito e sull'app ufficiale!#ForzaViola #Fiorentina #TeamTalk #Schroffenegger pic.twitter.com/lUpDnP4x7D
Katja also spoke of the quality of the Inter team that they will soon face and having spent a season at the club, she knows them quite well. She also mentioned that against San Marino in their Coppa game, Fiorentina only scored one goal in the second half, and so it won’t be an easy game this Sunday. Also because the newly promoted club has managed to gain more points so far than most people expected.
In transfer news, Chiara Ripamonti has gone on a loan spell to Cittadella for the remainder of this season. Hopefully this will give Chiara a good chance of more game time, as former Sassuolo coach Ilenia Nicoli’s side are pushing for a promotion place. Former Fiorentina Scudetto winner and hometown here, Elena Linari, has decided to return to Italy after her experiences at Atletico Madrid and Bordeaux, and has joined Roma. Update: Tatiana Bonetti now on her way to Atletico Madrid.
San Marino have just signed the Slovenian forward Nika Babnik from Austrian side Wacker Innsbruck. She already has experience of Italian football, having played with Tavagnacco last season.
More bad news on the injury front, with Michela Catena and Marta Mascarello already out with serious injuries, Cláudia Neto suffered a bad left thigh muscle strain in the Supercoppa. Greta Adami will probably take her place in midfield for Sunday’s game. Having missed the Supercoppa semi-final through suspension, Adami came on as a sub in the final.
While Fiorentina find themselves quite a few points off the top of the Serie A table, there are still 12 games to be played, as well as the Coppa Italia to fight for and the Champions League to look forward to. This weekends home game is a good chance to get an important 3 points on the board and to build on the confidence gained by recent displays.