After successful seasons last time around both Genoa and Fiorentina began the 2009/10 campaigns with high hopes, both with aspirations of making a top four finish. They got off to ideal starts but things have started to get complicated of late. Although they seem to have no trouble in scoring, Genoa are struggling massively to keep goals out. Last weekend they allowed Cagliari, who had only scored once at home this season, to put three past keeper Marco Amelia. Furthermore, the Europa League, which was meant to announce the big return to Europe, has seen the side really struggle and lose their last two games. Fiorentina, are not struggling for European form and look set to progress to the knock-out stages, however their efforts on the big stage seem to be affecting their domestic performances – no wins in October has seen Cesare Prandelli’s side lose distance from the top of the table and their weekend late defeat at home to Napoli has seen them drop out of the top four. Wednesday’s game gives both sides an important opportunity to return to winning ways, but the opportunity can be taken by only one. The other will seriously begin to feel the strain.
Coach Gian Piero Gasperini was very sour after the latest defeat to Cagliari: “This was a game we deserved to win, we didn’t for other reasons.” His remarks where addressed to the, in his opinion, below par refereeing of the game, and his attitude very much portrayed the climate of the Genoa camp. The effect of the referee’s performance last weekend will take it’s toll on the fixture against Fiorentina too, as Genoa are without Emiliano Moretti following a red card – therefore it is likely to see Genoa revert back to the 3-4-3 which they abandoned last Sunday. In the midfield, Alberto Zapater is likely to replace Ivan Juric after the Croats below par performance in Sardinia. Genoa’s only hope of winning these days seems to be in scoring more goals than the ones they will inevitably concede – with that in mind they are likely to continue fielding three up front. There will be a battle for a starting place however between Giuseppe Sculli and Raffaele Palladino, with the former expected to prevail.
15. Papastathopoulos – 25. Biava – 26. Bocchetti
7. Rossi – 77. Milanetto – 21. Zapater – 23. Modesto
20. Mesto – 33. Floccari – 14. Sculli
After their mid-week win in Europe, Fiorentina’s Coach Cesare Prandelli opted to rest in form striker Alberto Gilardino in the difficult fixture against Napoli. It didn’t pay off as the Gigliati lost 1-0 at home. Yet unlike his Genoa counterpart, Prandelli had nothing to recriminate in face of his side’s defeat: “We worked hard for the Champions League and it has taken its toll on the Serie A,” he continued “we need to get better at recovering over short periods of time.” And a short period of time is all his players will have as the team is expected to come across another difficult game on Wednesday at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Gilardino will be set to front the team once again with the three mezzepunte behind him – Adrian Mutu will start from the bench. The only other change will probably be Cesare Natali drop out the side as Dario Dainelli returns from suspension.
29. De Silvestri – 5. Gamberini – 3. Dainelli – 19. Gobbi
18. Montolivo – 15. Zanetti
24. Santana – 8. Jovetic – 6. Vargas
As already said above, both teams desperately need a win to get their domestic season back on track. One thing that both teams have shown to some extent so far, is an inability to cope with game congestion, so this could well be a game with plenty of mistakes as the sides play their fourth game in ten days. The records of the teams also indicate there should be goals at both ends, and should this game not end in a draw this writer expects the winning margin to be no more than a single goal. With the absence of Moretti and Gilardino being slightly more rested than the rest, this writer tips Fiorentina to prolong Genoa’s miserable period, and finally get their first League win in October.