Oct 18, 2020 at 2pm UK
Verde (39'), Farias (75')
Deiola (45+1'), Chabot (59')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Pezzella (2'), Biraghi (4')
Bonaventura (66'), Lirola (87')

Preview: Spezia Calcio vs. Fiorentina - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Spezia Calcio vs. Fiorentina - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:418253: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A encounter between Spezia and Fiorentina, including prediction, team news and possible lineups.

Fiorentina look to overcome a troubled spell, in which two straight defeats and the loss of Federico Chiesa hit their hopes of a successful season, as they take on promoted Spezia Calcio on Sunday afternoon.

Both sides have mustered just one win from three so far and will each have their eye on taking maximum points on the artificial turf at Cesena's Stadio Dino Manuzzi.

Match preview

Spezia's first promotion to Serie A in their 114-year history was a moment savoured by many neutrals, as the unassuming Ligurian club made it to the promised land through the Serie B playoffs. Their start to life in the big time has been a mixed one, however.

Heavy defeats to Sassuolo and AC Milan came either side of a first away win at struggling Udinese, leaving the debutants in 15th place in the early standings.

Now they seek a first 'home' win at the deserted Dino Manuzzi, as their own ground - Stadio Alberto Picco, in the port of La Spezia - is not up to top-flight standards.

Over the course of the season, the so-called plastic pitch in Cesena may prove a hindrance as much as an equalising force for the ultimate underdogs. However, Fiorentina will surely not enjoy the prospect of taking to the controversial surface on Sunday.

A typically aggressive side - they have registered the most fouls per game so far this season - Spezia will aim to make life difficult for La Viola's twinkle-toed stars such as Franck Ribery and new signing Jose Callejon.

Unfortunately for the Bianconeri, they have a mounting injury list to contend with. Coach Vincenzo Italiano may need to rely on 19-year-old loanee Roberto Piccoli up front, with three-goal Bulgarian hitman Andrey Galabinov doubtful. Galabinov is, in fact, the only player to register a goal for the side so far.

Midfielder Paolo Bartolomei racked up an impressive 11 assists last term, so will be expected to make the most of what is likely to be sparse possession against an experienced opposition engine room featuring Giacomo Bonaventura and Sofyan Amrabat.

Beppe Iachini, meanwhile, is already under pressure, given Fiorentina's slow start. This is a game in which his charges' superior guile and raw ability should ensure a win but the sense of a potential banana skin is present.

His chief concern, selection-wise, will be exactly how to incorporate Callejon into a well-staffed attacking department. The inspirational Ribery, Ivorian livewire Christian Kouame and Serb striker Dusan Vlahovic will all be vying for starts, too, in what is likely to be a familiar 3-5-2.

Spezia Calcio Serie A form: LWL

Fiorentina Serie A form: WLL

Team News

Spezia's medical department have been kept busy by a number of injuries, including to ex-PSV goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet (thigh), full back Federico Mattiello, Juan Ramos and top scorer Galabinov.

Emmanuel Gyasi and Daniele Verde - on loan from AEK Athens this season - will provide pace and width in support of either Piccoli or French forward M'Bala Nzola for Italiano's side.

Only Chilean midfielder Erick Pulgar - supposedly a target for Leeds United over the summer - is absent for the visitors, as Iachini has virtually a full hand to pick from against his less experienced counterpart.

Skipper German Pezzella will return to the starting lineup and keeps the armband amid some talk of Ribery taking the captaincy, having impressed while leading the side versus Inter.

If, as seems likely, Iachini sticks with his tried and tested formation, then it will be any two from four - from Ribery, Kouame, Vlahovic and Callejon - for the front pairing.

Spezia Calcio possible starting lineup:
Rafael; Ferrer, Chabot, Erlic, Dell'Orco; Bartolomei, Ricci, Pobega; Verde, Piccoli, Gyasi

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Caceres; Lirola, Bonaventura, Amrabat, Castrovilli, Biraghi; Ribery, Vlahovic

We say: Spezia Calcio 0-1 Fiorentina

All the pressure is on heaped on Fiorentina to take the win on Sunday and their hard-working opponents are potentially tricky customers at this stage of the season, while hopes are high and legs are still fresh.

With some good fortune, Spezia's injury-hit side can hold out for a certain period, but the ingenuity of Ribery, Kouame and possible debutant Callejon will ultimately seal the deal for La Viola.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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last updated article - 2020-10-16 22:24:41:
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