Fiorentina was able to get back on track with a 3-1 win over Catania at the Stadio Artemio Franchi following two disappointing and narrow defeats to Napoli and Genoa. The hero of the match was fit-again winger Marco Marchionni, who registered two goals against Catania after scoring once in the loss to il Grifone. The Italy winger has been in fine form since his return and Coach Cesare Prandelli will be hoping the player keeps up his performances and goal scoring with both Adrian Mutu and Stevan Jovetić suffering from niggling injuries. This keeps only Italy’s Alberto Gilardino as a recognised striker who is fit to face Hungarian side Debrecen in the European home-tie.
Gilardino has been finding the back of the net on a consistent basis and he marked his presence with the Gigliati’s third and last goal of the match against Catania. Marchionni’s surprising scoring streak bodes well in the likelihood that both Mutu and Jovetić miss out on the Debrecen clash due to their injuries. Going back to the encounter with the Sicilians, la Viola saw their central defender Dario Dainelli sent-off for two bookable offences which forced the team to play all of the second-half with ten men (Catania would also have their own defender Ciro Capuano sent-off in the second-half). The expected victory, which in fact was not an easy one, propelled Fiorentina to fifth place in the league standings with 18 points and just three points behind second and third-placed Juventus and Sampdoria respectively.
In the aftermath of Dainelli’s sending off, the club’s Director Pantaleo Corvino made it clear that the club has not been happy at all with recent refereeing. Corvino told RAI that he does not see any logical explanation for the two bookings given to the centre-back and also brought up the topic of the two penalties which he felt should have been awarded to the team in the loss to Genoa. On a more positive note, Catania’s Coach Gianluca Atzori heaped praise on his Fiorentina counterpart, referring to him as a great Coach to look up to. Certainly, the tributes for Prandelli continue to come from a number of sources, whether through awards as we mentioned in the previous edition of this segment, or the rumoured interest previously shown from the elite clubs such as Juventus, or the latest praise coming from an opposing team’s coach.
On the transfer front, defender Ezequiel Muñóz, the target who features for Boca Juniors, is on the verge of a move to Florence if some of the reports are to be believed. It is also been claimed that Muñóz’s move will certainly go through if Real Madrid do indeed move for Juan Manuel Vargas during the January transfer window. Another rumour circulating around the media involves the fate of Mario Santana. The Argentina midfielder has found it difficult to break into the first-team this season and his playing time will in all likelihood continue to be limited with the Marchionni, Cristiano Zanetti and Vargas currently guaranteed a starting spot. Coach Prandelli could also switch to a more attacking lineup using the three forwards at his disposal – Gilardino, Jovetić and Mutu – which will come at the expense of one of the midfielders. Thus, Santana’s playing time is unlikely to increase unless there are some major injuries in the squad. Santana’s agent Marco Piccioli refuted the transfer claims and said that the player was looking to stay in Florence. The midfielder was linked with potential moves away from Tuscany during the summer with Napoli and Roma as two of the likely destinations but at the end nothing materialised.
In Wednesday’s clash with Debrecen, Fiorentina will be expected to attack from the onset in order to secure all three points by scoring early goals so as to avoid any chance of an upset. The last three fixtures have shown that anything is possible and considering the team could be missing either Mutu or Jovetić, or even both due to injury, it is unlikely that Prandelli would want to risk the precious points. The likely line-up will feature Gilardino spearheading the attack and both Marchionni and Vargas in support. The Tuscan club will heavily depend on Gilardino’s goals as well as custodian Sebestien Frey’s saves and midfield general Cristiano Zanetti’s leadership and experience. The Gigliati cannot afford to drop any points against the Hungarian outfit since the remaining clashes in the group stage will be against Lyon and Liverpool respectively.
Fiorentina Club Focus
Viola continue to grind out results – September 15, 2009
La Viola lose Gilardino and the points – September 18, 2009
Fatigue catching up with la Viola – September 22, 2009
Della Valle Resigns as Fiorentina triumph over Sampdoria – September 25, 2009
La Viola finally win away as De Silvestri makes debut – September 29, 2009
The beginning of the Jovetic era in Florence? – October 2, 2009
Two points lost and a wasted opportunity – October 6, 2009
Good news all round – October 9, 2009
International Week (Republic of Ireland-Italy, Italy-Cyprus)
Transfer rumours abound as Gilardino fires la Nazionale to South Africa – October 13, 2009
Gilardino shines again as la Viola eye the Bianconeri’s scalp – October 16, 2009
La Viola holds firm against Juventus – October 20, 2009
Crucial win over Debrecen, Manchester United prepare bid for Jovetić? – October 23, 2009
La Viola going through a rough patch – October 30, 2009
Marchionni brace completes Fiorentina rebound – November 3, 2009