Lecce were maybe fortunate to bring one point from the away game against Juventus, but that point could help the team ensure Serie A survival, provided they beat Fiorentina at Via del Mare. Viola somehow managed to escape home defeat to already relegated Novara, whereas the Ljajic vs Rossi incident only made the situation worse.
Valuable point at Juventus Arena
Lecce had a very disappointing start to the league campaign and midway to the season it looked as though Salentini would not be able to avoid the drop. Nonetheless, the away victory over none other than Fiorentina helped kick-start their season and Serse Cosmi’s side have been in impressive form ever since. Lecce kept picking up points even against the strongest sides in Serie A and somehow managed to close the gap behind safety to just three points. Salentini ended the impressive seven-match unbeaten run at their Via del Mare by losing to Napoli and Parma, but the 1-1 draw away to Juventus could prove to be just the boost they need to keep their survival hopes alive. With two games to go, Lecce sit three points adrift of safety and with Genoa playing Udinese away, the Salentini can climb out of the bottom three with three points against sorry Fiorentina. If nothing else works, the hosts’ huge motivation should help them record a vital win.
Moris Carrozzieri, Luis Muriel and Juan Cuadrado are all banned, but Massimo Oddo could return from an ankle injury. Julio Sergio and Daniele Corvia remain sidelined.
New problems at Artemio Franchi
With their key players Montolivo, Vargas and Pasqual expressing desire to leave the club soon after the season started, Fiorentina were never going to reach their potential this term. Viola would record a good result here and there, but they never quite managed to hit the ground running and recently even slipped into the danger zone. This team obviously have too much quality to go down, but the main issue is they rarely show that on the pitch. The lack of true team spirit has been a problem since day one and the recent incident involving coach Delio Rossi and forward Adem Ljajic only added fuel to fire. The former Lazio boss was immediately sacked from the post, but that is unlikely to bring any improvement to the side. Following the dismal showing against poor Novara and a narrow escape in that match, Viola cannot be expected to fare much better against very motivated Lecce side.
Valon Behrami, Stevan Jovetic, Andrea Lazzari and Houcine Kharja are all injury doubts, whereas Per Kroldrup, Amauri, Juan Manuel Vargas and Matija Nastasic are definitely out.
Lecce have been showing a lot of promise of late, with their huge motivation and home field advantage likely to prove enough for a valuable victory. Fiorentina are all over the place at the moment, and with some key players missing out, they don’t look capable of getting anything from this clash.
Our prediction: Home win
Odds: 2.05 (21/20)