Fiorentina vs Napoli, Preview: Excitement expected!

Giuseppe Bellini

If you manage to haul yourself out of bed in time for this early kick-off you shouldn't be disappointed, as second meet fifth in a classy affair at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

With Napoli having their two point deduction overturned in mid-week, they should have a little more spring in their step. If Udinese beat Juventus on Saturday night, and the Neapolitans manage to emerge victorious in this clash, they will be level on points with the league leaders.

Clearly, they are two rather large 'ifs,' not least with Vincenzo Montella's viola being one of the hottest teams in town this season. But, having gone all the way to extra time in the Coppa Italia defeat to Roma on Wednesday night, slight fitness fears are the hangover.

Fiorentina have lost just once at home this season, though come into this game on the back of three straight defeats in all competitions -- the first time they have lost a trio on the bounce since last February. Napoli, on the other hand, have won their last three, and would be satisfied to repeat the performance they delivered the last time these sides met, when they won 2-1 at the Stadio San Paolo.

They will have captain Paolo Cannavaro back after being cleared of match-fixing allegations, though he could start from the bench alongside new signing Emanuele Calaiò -- a veteran signed from Siena having last played for the partenopei between 2004 and 2008, leading the attack as they charged from the third tier to the top one.

Elsewhere, Pablo Armero is expected to be given his first start since joining from Udinese, with Juan Zuñiga a slight doubt. Fiorentina have an almost full-strength team available, though their new signing Giuseppe Rossi will miss out through injury along with Ahmed Hegazy. David Pizarro is doubtful.

Fiorentina Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Giuseppe Rossi, Ahmed Hegazy (injured) In doubt: David Pizarro

Napoli Injuries and Suspensions

In doubt: Juan Zuñiga

Match Date/Time: Sunday, January 20 at 12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy

TV: RAI Internazionale (U.S.), Premium Calcio, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)

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