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Fiorentina open Serie A campaign against Napoli

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Baptism, meet fire.

ACF Fiorentina v SSC Napoli - Serie A Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

It’s weird to think that in less than a month’s time we kick off again in Serie A. Calcio D’Estate is coming to an end, the days are getting shorter and you can almost hear the Serie A anthem ringing in the air. The ICC (Champions League is for boys) is finished; we now focus on the small matter of the Serie A fixture list. There are many questions that come to mind. Firstly, and this applies to everyone, not just Fiorentina fans, is why so late? All the other leagues announced their fixture lists in what feels like aeons ago. For more on this, you should read Chloe Beresford’s article on the subject for Forbes that explains it far more eloquently than I ever could. In a nutshell, it’s idiotic and makes no sense.

But more importantly, Fiorentina fans must be wondering who will be starting the opening game. I’m not sure if you have noticed, but we don’t seem to be signing anyone. Any report of the club getting even a few kilometres from a player fizzles out faster than you can say Tomas Ujfalusi. An idea of what our starting eleven might be remains a bigger mystery than Joshua Brillante’s career. And of course, the question on everyone’s lips, will Chiesa be playing? If you believe in Big Man Rocco, Fede will be there. He may even be there as captain with Calciomercato claiming he will be taking over the armband from Pezzella. If every other publication is to be believed then most likely he won’t be. But hey, Gazzetta says we might have Kevin-Prince Boateng on a season-long loan…. Anyway, we are playing Napoli in the first round.

Although at home, this is one of the hardest starts Montella’s boys could have asked for. As the cliche goes, ‘there is no such thing as an easy game in football’ but Fiorentina fans would have surely preferred a less taxing start. Napoli made Liverpool look more like Tranmere Rovers over the weekend. That being said, Fiorentina - Napoli will be the ‘blockbuster’ game of the week (Verona - Bologna hardly screams ESPN) and who doesn’t love a big game at the Franchi? Moreover, the first league game with new owners is bound to be a spectacle. You can just imagine Rocco coming onto the pitch before the game to ‘Living in America’ before missing a penalty Diana Ross style; truly the American dream.

The big game of the season is only on Matchday 3, with Juventus making their way down to Tuscany. The Viola haven’t beaten Juve in the league since a 2-1 win in January 2017 with goals from Kalinic and Badelj. If I were to be an optimist, Juventus are often slow starters and as we saw with Chelsea last year, it takes a while for teams to adapt to so-called ‘Sarri-ball’ so we could be in with a chance. Then again we don’t really have a starting eleven yet, so who knows. Other big games include Milan -Fiorentina on Matchday 6, Fiorentina - Roma just before Christmas with Fiorentina - Inter the week before.

Always a weird one looking at the fixture list. At the risk of being ‘Captain Obvious’, you really have no idea how it’s all going to pan out. We close the season against SPAL in Ferrara and you can only guess what state the club will be in. Will the new owners lead us back to glory? Will Uncle Vinny turn back the clock to the good old days of Borja Valero and Co? Will Simeone ever score again? Only time (and let’s face it: some suffering) will tell.

Matchday 1 / 20:

Fiorentina - Napoli

Matchday 2 / 21:

Genoa - Fiorentina

Matchday 3 / 22:

Fiorentina - Juventus

Matchday 4 / 23:

Atalanta - Fiorentina

Matchday 5 / 24:

Fiorentina - Sampdoria

Matchday 6 / 25:

AC Milan - Fiorentina

Matchday 7 / 26:

Fiorentina- Udinese

Matchday 8 / 27:

Brescia - Fiorentina

Matchday 9 / 28:

Fiorentina - Lazio

Matchday 10 / 29:

Sassuolo - Fiorentina

Matchday 11 / 30:

Fiorentina - Parma

Matchday 12 / 31:

Cagliari - Fiorentina

Matchday 13 / 32:

Verona - Fiorentina

Matchday 14 / 33:

Fiorentina - Lecce

Matchday 15 / 34:

Torino - Fiorentina

Matchday 16 / 35:

Fiorentina - Inter Milan

Matchday 17 / 36:

Fiorentina - Roma

Matchday 18 / 37:

Bologna - Fiorentina

Matchday 19 / 38:

Fiorentina - Spal