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Fiorentina - Udinese
Stadio Franchi

Dino Zoff could find himself turfed out if Fiorentina don’t start getting results soon, while Udinese need a victory to maintain their Champions’ League place.

The Viola boss has earned just three points in his five games in charge and last week’s local derby defeat to Siena saw the team slide to the very edge of the relegation zone. Patron Diego Della Valle dubbed that performance as "embarrassing" and claimed some of the top stars should be "ashamed to pick up their wage packets."

Valeri Bojinov is yet to deliver after his £10m move from Lecce, while few can remember the last time Hidetoshi Nakata had a good game. The Japanese international is likely to be dropped in favour of Martin Jorgensen, who is taking on his former Stadio Friuli teammates. Even the return of Enzo Maresca failed to boost the strangely insipid Fiorentina side.

Udinese were thankful to 20-year-old Swede Henok Goitom for an injury-time equaliser that allowed them to hold Inter in a 1-1 draw last Saturday evening. However, even that point was not enough to keep them clear in the Champions’ League spots, as Sampdoria caught them in fourth place.

Vincenzo Iaquinta has now recovered from a particularly nasty bout of flu and is set to return to the starting XI alongside David Di Michele and Antonio Di Natale. It will be a special occasion for Coach Luciano Spalletti, who is a rival to Fiorentina from his days in charge of Empoli.

Fiorentina (probable): Lupatelli; Maggio, Viali, Dainelli, Chiellini; Ariatti, Donadel, Maresca; Jorgensen; Miccoli, Bojinov

Udinese (probable): De Sanctis; Bertotto, Sensini, Felipe; Zenoni, Pizarro, Muntari, Jankulovski; Di Michele, Iaquinta, Di Natale

Ref: To follow...

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Zoff faces moment of truth
Saturday 26 February, 2005
Dino Zoff could be fired if his Fiorentina fail to get the better of Udinese this evening and he claims the club’s hard-line approach has been beneficial.

“The work we have done this week has been positive and we all hope it leads towards a victory,” said the tactician.

Last week’s humiliating local derby defeat to ten-man Siena sent them tumbling into the drop zone and infuriated President Andrea Della Valle. The entire squad and Zoff were locked in a hotel complex and banned from contact with the outside world to better prepare for this game.

“Against Udinese we will require pace, determination and character. It has been a tough week, but everyone being together really helped build a squad mentality.”

The Viola were thought to be UEFA Cup candidates at the start of the season, but a string of dismal results have seen Coaches Emiliano Mondonico and Sergio Buso quit in favour of Zoff. The ex-Italy boss has done even worse with four defeats in five games.

“This is the time to take an honest look at our situation and accept the reality of it,” warned the Coach. “I hope that the fans can support us rather than turn on the side, as that approach will help everyone.”

Latest reports suggest Zoff could turn to the 3-4-1-2 system with Hidetoshi Nakata relegated to the bench in favour of Chris Obodo and former Udinese hero Martin Jorgensen. Enzo Maresca is again sidelined with an injury, while Christian Riganò is struggling with flu.

“We will spend time with the players and tell them to show us what they’re made of,” stated President Della Valle as he visited the squad. “The city must be thanked for its patience throughout the last few months and we will all emerge from this terrible time together.”

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Tonight's streams:

mms://203.210.215.251/htv7uni
rtsp://www.vtc.com.vn/vtc/htv7.rm
 

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2 hours from now.


Probable formation:

22 Lupatelli
33 Delli Carri
55 Viali
3 Dainelli
8 Ariatti
15 Jorgensen
16 Donadel
5 Obodo
4 Chiellini
11 Miccoli
99 Bojinov

Substitutes:

1 Cejas
25 Maggio
44 Piangerelli
29 Guigou
10 Nakata
20 Pazzini
76 Fantini
 

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Mago said:
No picture unfortunately... :(
Damn, it worked half an hour ago :(
 

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Apparently you are watching the match Yac, how badly is Bojinov injured if you can tell? Some kind of collision with keeper or something?
 

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No collision whatsoever. I think that injury was due to the way he shot the ball or something, because he was alone when he got injured.
 

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Yacoob said:
No collision whatsoever. I think that injury was due to the way he shot the ball or something, because he was alone when he got injured.
no collision, he had problems prior to scoring. I saw him touching the upper inner part of his left thigh. I don't think it's a serious injury, he went out of the stadium alone walking

great first part for Fiorentina, from the games I've seen this season this one is the best. You totally controlled the center. Stupid mistakes in the end of the first half. You just have to concentrate more.
 

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luba said:
Stupid mistakes in the end of the first half. You just have to concentrate more.
Easier said than done. I predict big problems in our defence when Udinese starts its attacks
 

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With those mistakes and Bojinov out I expected us to defend more in the second half, but so far we're still attempting to score. So far so good. ;)
 
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