Fiorentina vs. Sampdoria, preview: Only one Rossi will threaten on Sunday

Marco Luzzani

There's little bite behind Delio Rossi's Sampdoria side, who sit just above the relegation zone. Fiorentina, meanwhile, have the ever-present threat of Giuseppe Rossi on their side.

It was meant to be a banner year for la viola, but at the moment, they're sitting just outside the European places, hoping that Hellas Verona and Inter Milan are about to slip up. Even worse, Fiorentina are seven points out of the Champions League places, a zone most supporters expected them to occupy after last season's performances and a great summer transfer window.

If it hadn't been for last year, of course, Fiorentina would probably be thrilled with their current standing. And it's likely that they will finish, at least, in the top five. Of course, they've had to deal with significant injuries, particularly the absence of Mario Gómez, which hasn't helped matters. But more worrying has been the viola performance of late. Against Napoli, they were fantastic -- and didn't win. For the most part, however, the side has looked rather dull and uninspired, which is strange considering the love Vincenzo Montella holds for playmakers and creators.

It also might seem strange to describe a team with Giuseppe Rossi and his eight goals as uninspired, or to call the side that fought back to beat Juventus dull. But the fact is, if Fiorentina want to be in serious contention for those top three places, they're going to have to turn their game up a notch. The quick passing, the fancy touches, the flat out attack...those things must be present for more than 20 minutes per match, if the team really has serious ambitions this season.

Fortunately for Fiorentina, they don't have to face Serie A elite this week. After a tough stretch encompassing Juventus, Napoli, and AC Milan, broken up only by a boring run out against Chievo Verona, the viola now face Sampdoria, who are, once again, struggling. It seems Delio Rossi has but one goal: avoid relegation. And even that isn't done very well. Samp have just two wins on the season and are above the drop only due to goal difference, which, as we all know, doesn't actually count for much in Italy.

If the visitors need a boost, they can remind themselves how, even after going down a man last week, they managed to score two more goals. The only problem with this optimistic outlook is that the opponents were Sassuolo, so it's not as though scoring goals against that defense is particularly difficult. While Fiorentina might not have the tightest defense on the peninsula, it's certainly better than that of the neroverdi, and even if the hosts do concede, it's almost certain that they'll also put one in.

Fiorentina Injuries and Suspensions

Massimo Ambrosini, Marko Bakić, Mario Gómez, Ahmed Hegazi, Josip Iličić (injured)

Sampdoria Injuries and Suspensions

Antonino Barillà, Paolo Castellini, Manolo Gabbiadini, Shkodran Mustafi, Bartosz Salamon, Gianluca Sansone (injured); Andrea Costa, Daniele Gastaldello (suspended)

Probable lineups

Fiorentina (3-5-2): Neto; Roncaglia, Rodríguez, Savić; Cuadrado, Aquilani, Pizarro, Borja Valero, Pasqual; Matos, Rossi

Sampdoria (3-4-1-2): Da Costa; De Silvestri, Palombo, Regini; Bjarnason, Obiang, Krstičić, Gavazzi; Soriano; Pozzi, Eder

Match Date / Time

Sunday, November 10 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence

TV

Sky Calcio 2 (Italy)

Online

beIN Sport Play (USA); Bet365

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