Fiorentina will be aiming to recover from the weekend’s draw against Cagliari that robbed them of two important players, with the hosts in desperate need of a morale-boosting victory. Meanwhile, having lost every single fixture this season, Pacos Ferreira will be hoping to finally put an end to a disappointing run of results.
Montella furious with the officials
Having done so well to push Milan all the way in the battle for the final Champions League berth last term, Fiorentina were tipped to continue their uptrend in fortunes, especially having signed some excellent players this summer. Viola indeed enjoyed a bright start to the season, defeating Catania and Genoa in the league while overcoming Grasshoppers to reach the Europa League group stages. However, it was their weekend’s draw with Cagliari that caused a great deal of controversy, with Viola conceding a late equalizer before being denied a clear penalty in injury time. This has led to David Pizarro earning a two-match ban, although the Chilean playmaker is available for the Pacos Ferreira clash. However, key players Mario Gomez and Juan Cuadrado both picked up injuries in the process, and their absence could hurt team’s top 3 bid. Nevertheless, with so many quality replacements to choose from, Vincenzo Montella will have no problems fielding a strong side against out-of-sorts Pacos Ferreira and no doubt the weekend’s controversy will give the hosts an extra incentive to return to winning ways.
Mario Gomez, Juan Cuadrado and Ahmed Hegazy remain sidelined, but Stefan Savic could return to the side after missing the Cagliari match through injury.
No hope for Pacos Ferreira
Last season saw Pacos Ferreira soar to unimagined heights, with the team winning the final Champions League berth in Primeira Liga, leaving the likes of Sporting Braga and Sporting Lisbon trailing in their wake. However, rather than reinforcing the squad for what awaited them this term, Os Castores stayed without boss Paulo Fonseca, while key players Vitor, Figueiras, Josue, Luiz Carlos and Cassio all left. Operating on a tight budget, the club could only sign low-profile players, who don’t seem to have what it takes to play at this level. It was, therefore, not surprising to see Pacos Ferreira experience all sorts of problems in the opening exchanges, losing the Champions League play-offs to Zenit 8-3 on aggregate, while suffering four straight defeats in the league, scoring just one goal in the process. You can imagine how the players will be feeling after six straight defeats at the start of a new campaign, so I really don’t see how they are going to upset star-studded Fiorentina at their Artemio Franchi.
Boss Costinha has no fresh injury worries to report, with Manchester United loanee Bebe likely to keep his place in the starting line-up.
Fiorentina have become a real force to be reckoned with at their Artemio Franchi and seeing as how they usually win home games against Serie A mid table sides without too many problems, they can be trusted to record a resounding win against Pacos Ferreira. The Portuguese side are all over the place after losing six straight matches and everything suggests the trend is set to continue.
Top pick: Fiorentina/Fiorentina 1.91 (10/11) @ Paddy Power
Alternative pick 1: Fiorentina to win to nil 2.10 (11/10) @ SkyBet
Alternative pick 2: Rossi to score 2.55 (31/20) @ BetVictor
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