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Serie A Preview: Fiorentina - Milan

Kick-Off: Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 18:30 CET.
Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence.


On Road To Resurrection


Fiorentina had been struggling since the start of the New Year and had been steadily slipping down the table in Serie A. However, in their last two matches la Viola have expressed an intensity to bounce back.

At the moment Cesare Prandelli's side are 10th in the table with 34 points from 24 matches. This owes much to their 2-1 comeback win against Livorno on Sunday afternoon. That win was partly an extension of their encouraging performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last week in a match in which they were robbed of a vital away draw because of a late offside goal that was allowed to stand.

The rearranged home fixture against Milan on Wednesday evening is not going to be an easy one especially as Milan can smell a previously unlikely Scudetto race but the Viola will hope to get at least a point.

Unlikely Scudetto Triumph

Milan were written off by most experts at the beginning of the season and indeed their start to the 2009-2010 campaign didn't encourage any contradiction to the popular notion that the Rossoneri were going to be a disaster.

However, Leonardo eventually found a way to squeeze the best out of his side and although they went through a bad patch after losing to Inter in the Derby della Madonnina in late January, at the moment they are third in the Serie A table with 48 points from 24 matches, seven points behind leaders Inter with a game in hand.

A win on Wednesday evening would propel Milan to second place in the table, a solitary point ahead of Roma and just four points behind league leaders Inter. However, winning in Florence is going to be far from easy especially as la Viola have started picking up pace and momentum.

Milan's Champions League adventure this season looks to be over given that they are trailing 3-2 to Manchester United from their Round of 16, first-leg game and they are already out of the Coppa Italia. So a Scudetto triumph is the only way that they can win any silverware this term.


FORM GUIDE

Fiorentina

February 21 v Livorno (H) - WON 2-1 (Serie A)

February 17 v Bayern Munich (A) - LOST 2-1 (Champions League)

February 13 v Sampdoria (A) - LOST 2-0 (Serie A)

February 7 v Roma (H) - LOST 1-0 (Serie A)

February 3 v Inter (A) - LOST 1-0 (Coppa Italia)

Milan

February 22 v Bari (A) - WON 2-0 (Serie A)

February 16 v Manchester United (H) - LOST 3-2 (Champions League)

February 12 v Udinese (H) - WON 3-2 (Serie A)

February 7 v Bologna (A) - DREW 0-0 (Serie A)

January 31 v Livorno (H) - DREW 1-1 (Serie A)

 

TEAM NEWS

Fiorentina

Santana and Gamberini are out with injuries while Pasqual, Gobbi and Vargas are doubtful.

Probable Lineup (4-3-2-1): Frey, De Silvestri, Kroldrup, Natali, Pasqual; Montolivo, Boletti, Vargas; Marchionni, Jovetic; Gilardino

Milan

Zambrotta, Seedorf, Mancini, Antonini and Kaladze are unavailable for the trip to Florence while Thiago Silva is struggling with injury.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3):
Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Favalli; Gattuso, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Pato, Borriello, Ronaldinho


PLAYERS TO WATCH

Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina)

The Italian international striker has been in good form this season with 10 goals in Serie A. Gilardino moved from Milan to Fiorentina in 2008 after failing to settle in at the Italian giants but has undergone a renaissance in Florence. The 27-year-old will be eager to score against his former club and continue his club's resurrection.

Ronaldinho (Milan)

Ronaldinho would again be the creator-in-chief for Milan on Wednesday night as the Rossoneri try to leapfrog Roma into second place. The former Barcelona playmaker was arguably Milan's best player against Manchester United in the Champions League and he will be eager to add to his tally of nine goals and 10 assists in the league.


PREDICTION

Fiorentina have come into form in their last two matches in all competitions and playing at home they will know that they can defeat Milan. However, the Rossoneri looked good against Bari at the weekend and have a good away record in the league. Their defensive uncertainty implies that they are susceptible to conceding a goal but il Diavolo do have a better attackline.

Fiorentina 1-2 Milan