Serie A Week 34 - 3/5/09 (14.00 UK)
Fiorentina - Torino
Over the last three games Fiorentina and Torino have exactly the same record, although there positions in Serie A couldn’t be anymore different. The Viola are in the top four after a stunning 4-1 victory over Roma, while the Granata are fourth from bottom with a shot at survival following their 1-0 win at home to Siena.
Fiorentina can consolidate their grasp on the final Champions League place with a three-point haul this weekend. Having knocked Roma out of contention for fourth spot, Genoa are now the only team that could cause them problems and they have the hurdle that is the Derby della Lanterna to jump in Week 34.
The Viola’s performance on Saturday was arguably their best this season, although some people have pointed to the difficult moment Roma are going through at the moment. That said, you can only beat what’s put in front of you and Fiorentina ruthlessly dismantled the Giallorossi in front of their demanding home fans.
Under the stewardship of the Della Valle family and Coach Cesare Prandelli, the Viola had never beaten Roma until Saturday night – that’s an eight-year duck broken.
For the first time since his arrival in Florence, Juan Manuel Vargas showed the sort of form that convinced the Viola to sign him from Catania last summer. Interestingly, the Peruvian full-back started on the left of an attacking midfield three and wreaked havoc, scoring a beauty after six minutes. He’ll be stationed there this weekend and Torino will have to come up with a cunning plan to deal with his marauding runs.
This Fiorentina side were different from the others that have worn the Viola this season, showing an aggression that their fans have been crying out for. If Torino are to cope with Fiorentina this weekend, they will have to show some of the fight they meted out against Siena on Sunday.
The Granata grinded out a priceless victory and, despite needing a wonder goal from Rolando Bianchi to seal the deal, actually created more than they have in a lot of their other games this season. That is largely down to the rather strange 3-4-1-2 formation Giancarlo Camolese has deployed, which allows Alessandro Rosina to really shine.
Keep an eye on: Alberto Gilardino (Fiorentina) – With 26 goals in all competitions this season, Gilardino is just one goal short of his best ever campaign. The 26-year-old is back to his very best and is showing the sort of form that convinced Milan to sign him from Parma in 2005. He owes a lot to Fiorentina for helping him re-establish his considerable reputation.
Last season: Fiorentina 2-1 Torino
Form guide: Fiorentina (W W W L W) Torino (L L W L W)
Fiorentina (probable): Frey; Comotto, Dainelli, Gamberini, Pasqual; Kuzmanovic, Montolivo; Semioli, Jovetic, Vargas; Gilardino
Torino (probable): Sereni; Ogbonna, Natali, Franceschini; Diana, Barone, Dzemaili, Rubin; Rosina; Bianchi, Stellone
Ref: To follow...