With Fiorentina competing for a Champions League position, and Siena struggling to get themselves off the bottom of the Serie A table, this is unlikely to be a closely fought battle. But it's worth watching if Stevan Jovetic really does return for the Viola.
Fiorentina may have ended their undefeated run with a 4-2 defeat to AS Roma last week, but it's almost certain the tides will turn back in their favor on Sunday, when they host Siena in the first Tuscan Derby of the season. First, Siena are dead last in the table -- although they'd be in 13th without their preseason points deduction -- and have lost their last two matches. Second, the Viola remain undefeated at home. Last, but perhaps most importantly, they welcome back Stevan Jovetic this weekend.
JoJo hasn't played since Fiorentina's 4-1 victory over Cagliari on November 4. He was available on the bench last weekend, but Vincenzo Montella elected to give his star an additional rest, to make sure he was truly fit. Now, barring some sort of tragic catastrophe, Jovetic will return against Siena. The Montenegrin, who has six goals from eleven matches, will be itching to add to his tally. He recently spoke to the press about how eager he is to help Fiorentina reach the Champions League -- and nothing less than a victory over Siena will help them regain that coveted third position.
Siena haven't fared well in recent weeks, seeing out goalless draws against Chievo Verona and Parma, and barely squeaking by with a 1-0 victory over Pescara. They then took the lead over both Roma and Catania, only to lose to both, 3-1.
In general, the robur aren't too proficient on the goalscoring front -- they've scored just 15 this season, and have never scored more than two in one match. Siena tend not to leak goals on the road, with Serse Cosmi preferring a more conservative approach, but Fiorentina have been known to dismantle oppositions that sit back -- see their 4-1 victories over both Atalanta and Cagliari.
Fiorentina injuries and suspensions
Olivera took the place of David Pizarro last week, and now Pizarro returns. No worries. Let's speak again of JoJo being back!
Siena injuries and suspensions
Match Date / Time: Sunday, December 16 at 12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi -- that'd be the one in Florence, not Siena, in case you're confused
TV: Sky Calcio 1, ESPN UK, and Arena Sport 4 Serbia (throughout the Balkans-- gotta watch some JoJo!)