Fiorentina vs. Napoli, Preview and TV Schedule: Viola looking to get amongst the Champions League places

Marco Luzzani

A victory over Napoli would put Fiorentina just a point off their opponents as they climb the table after a shaky, injury-hit period. Napoli meanwhile will be looking to gain on runaway leaders Roma who play Chievo on Thursday.

After being touted as dark horses for the Scudetto pre-season, Fiorentina initially fulfilled these expectations before having a minor wobble, losing to Inter and playing out underwhelming draws with Lazio and Parma. Since the 0-0 with Lazio, during which neither side was able to muster so much as a clear chance on goal, Fiorentina appear to have revived themselves and a stunning 4-2 victory over Juventus followed, Giuseppe Rossi the hero in that encounter with a second-half hat-trick. Another second half comeback followed after going in a goal down away to Chievo it was Juan Cuadrado who was the hero this time around, his two goals propelling the Viola into fifth place, just four points from Juventus and opponents Napoli who, level on points, round out the Champions League places. With Fiorentina just appearing to come into some real form and with Mario Gómez still to return from injury, it looks like they will be fighting for a place in Europe's elite competition all season long.

Napoli have enjoyed a positive start to Rafa Benitez's reign however despite winning all but two of their league matches thus far and losing only one, they find themselves second, but a full five points from Roma above them. The problem it seems, is not theirs but the incendiary form of the Giallorossi. Unlike Fiorentina, who have relied on mainly Rossi for their goals, Napoli have shared their scoring around the side, with Marek Hamsik, Goran Pandev, José Callejón and Gonzalo Higuaín all with three or more goals to their name. With Roma still having a 100% record and faced with rock-bottom Chievo on Thursday, it will be important for Napoli to gain three points from this encounter, as going eight points down at this stage in the season would set alarm bells ringing at the Stadio San Paolo.

Fiorentina still have some injury worries with long-termers Ahmed Hegazy and Mario Gómez joined recently by Massimo Ambrosini. Napoli are faced with a small problem in defence with Miguel Britos injured and Paolo Cannavaro suspended, meaning that Federico Fernández is likely to join Raúl Albiol at the back.

Fiorentina injuries and suspensions

Out: Massimo Ambrosini, Josip Iličić, Mario Gómez, Ante Rebić, Ahmed Hegazy (injured).

Napoli injuries and suspensions

Out: Miguel Britos, Juan Zuniga (injured); Paolo Cannavaro (suspended)

Projected lineups

Fiorentina: Neto, Tomović, Rodríguez, Savić, Pasqual, Aquilani, Valero, Pizarro, Joaquín, Cuadrado, Rossi

Napoli: Reina, Maggio, Albiol, Fernández, Armero, Dzemaili, Inler, Callejón, Hamsik, Insigne, Higuain

Match date/time: Wednesday 30 October 2013, 20:45 local, 15:45 E.T.

Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence

TV: Sky Calcio 3, Premium Calcio 1 (Italy); beIN Sport and beIN Sport Play, SiriusXM FC (USA)

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