Fiorentina vs. NapoliBy: Neil | October 30th, 2013
Even though it’s only October, these are the games where scudetti can be won. Not many teams will beat Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi, and as we saw against Juve a few weeks ago they can be dangerous at any stadium. Benitez picked a full strength lineup on Sunday, and today won’t be much different. Only doubts are right fullback, where either Maggio or Mesto could play, and centre mid, where Inler will likely take a rest. Reina – Maggio, Fernandez, Albiol, Armero – Dzemaili, Behrami – Callejon, Hamsik, Mertens – Higuain.
Fiorentina has a huge absence in Gonzalo Rodriguez who is suspended. His place will be taken by Marvin Compper, who earned one cap for Germany while playing with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Other notable absences, all through injury, include Mario Gomez, Josip Illicic, and Massimo Ambrosini. Despite the missing players Fiorentina still have a strong lineup:
Neto – Facundo, Compper, Savic – Cuadrado, Aquilani, Pizarro, Borja Valero, Pasqual – Joaquin, Rossi
An interesting battle should take place between the two Colombians down one flank: Cuadrado vs. Armero. Cuadrado has been on fire since moving to Fiorentina on loan, and he is now fully owned by the Viola. His pace, dribbling ability, and stamina make him perfect for the wingback role in Montella’s 3-5-2. The key will be for Napoli’s left winger, Dries Mertens, to get in behind Fiorentina’s wingback to keep Cuadrado pinned back. This allows for Armero to advance into the space rather than staying back to guard against the attacking Colombian.
Ironically, the tactical formations are reversed from a couple of seasons ago when Mazzarri’s 3-5-2 matched up against Fiorentina’s 4-2-3-1. Now that Mazzarri has left, Benitez uses a more sensible 4-2-3-1, and Montella has changed over to the 3-5-2 which is currently working very well for them. I’m not a huge fan of the 3-5-2, but in Cuadrado and Pasqual they have the ideal wingbacks to make the system work.
Napoli played well against Roma and didn’t get anything to show for it, let’s hope they can pull a repeat performance against Fiorentina and hand the Viola their first home loss of the season.
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