Match Preview: Fiorentina

Can Bologna build on the positive performance versus Napoli when Fiorentina visit the Dall’Ara? Here is our preview.

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It’s time for the Derby dell’Appennino when Bologna host Fiorentina on Sunday. La Viola come from a shocking 4-1 defeat at home to Hellas Verona last weekend, and will undoubtedly want to redeem themselves. Bologna, on the other hand, lost against Napoli last weekend, but played an overall good game, and should take some positives from it. With the arrival of Riccardo Orsolini, optimism should be high in Bologna at the moment.

Before kick-off, only a single point separates Fiorentina and Bologna. The Firenze outfit are currently in 11th with 28 points, while Bologna are in 12th with 27 points. A win could therefore take Bologna past their rivals, and given the loss against them in September, the team will want revenge.

The game against Napoli was, despite the result, a performance to build on going forward. The team functioned well against a much stronger side, and had it not been for the abysmal penalty decision, the game could have ended differently. As we touched upon in the review of the game, Rodrigo Palacio was rampant at times, and if he can build on that going into the matchup with La Viola, then a positive result is definitely achievable.

The biggest talking point from the last game is the injury to Simone Verdi. He went out


just a few minutes into the game, and he’ll be out for approximately thirty days. He will be sorely missed against Fiorentina, but Roberto Donadoni does have other options in his side. Mattia Destro was benched against Napoli, and he will most likely start against Fiorentina, alongside Federico Di Francesco and Palacio. Orsolini favours Verdi’s position, and could well be starting the game, but given his lack of games recently, it’s more likely that he’ll come on during the game.

Fiorentina have at times played brilliantly this season, but they lack consistency which is why they’re not challening for a place in Europe yet. They are currently on a run of four games without a win. They’ve lost points versus teams they should beat, in the likes of Chievo, Crotone, and most recently, Verona. They can at times be brilliant though, and with players like Giovanni Simeone, Marco Benassi, and especially Federico Chiesa, they are very dangerous side going forward. Bologna will therefore have to defend as a unit to deny them space going forward. Especially Cyril Théréau has been a creative force for them, and he must be denied the room to create chances for his teammates.


The most notable absence, as mentioned above, is that of Verdi, and Destro will probably replace him in the line-up. However, Donadoni gave some interesting comments in his press conference today about Orsolini and Simone Romagnoli, when he said:

I’ve really liked the approach from Orsolini and Romagnoli straight away.

Is he hinting about the possible inclusion of either one of them? We’ll see tomorrow, but between Orsolini and Romagnoli, the attacker is definitely the one most likely to take part. The defender comes from Serie B, and to throw him straight into the line-up in a derby, does not seem like a sensible choice. Orsolini, on the other hand, has got Serie A experience, and given his similiarty to Verdi, he would fit in nicely with the other players in the line-up.

It’s also expected that Giancarlo Gonzalez will step back into the line-up, most likely at the expense of Sebastien De Maio.

Expected line-ups:

Bologna (4-3-3): Mirante; M’baye, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina; Dzemaili, Pulgar, Poli; Palacio, Destro, Di Francesco

Fiorentina (4-3-3): Sportiello; Laurini, Pezzella, Astori, Biraghi; Benassi, Badelj, Veretout; Chiesa, Simeone, Théréau

It will undoubtedly be a tough match, the derby is always full of intensity. But, if Bologna build on the performance against Napoli, a good result is very much achievable.

What are your hopes for the game? Let us know in the comments below!


Photo: Bologna FC

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