Fiorentina vs. Catania, preview: Viola ready to show Serie A their scudetto intentions

Claudio Villa

The viola open the Serie A season playing host to Catania, a side that doesn't dream of glory yet consistently manages to plague the big clubs.

Week One of the new season in Serie A finishes with a meeting between two teams that played attractive attacking football last season and had great results with it. Both Fiorentina and Catania will be looking to do the same this season, though both have changed a bit since the end of last season. The changes to the viola weren't as dramatic as last season's upheaval, but Stevan Jovetić has gone to Manchester City, while Adem Ljajić is physically present, but is dreaming of Milan. The visitors saw two of their best players head for the exit. Forward Alejandro Gomez is now at Ukranian side Metalist Kharkiv, while Francesco Lodi, possibly the best player in recent memory for Catania, left for Genoa.

More from our team blogs: Fiorentina blog Viola Nation

Both teams brought in quite a few new players. The viola surprised the whole of Europe with the signing of Mario Gomez. The German will lead the attack against the elefanti with the assistance of Giuseppe Rossi in a 3-5-2 formation, the same used at the start of the last season by Vincenzo Montella In fact, the remainder of the team will most probably be the same as the last season, although it's not 100% sure whether David Pizarro will be able to play - he picked up a small injury when playing for Chile 10 days ago.

It is certain that summer signing Massimo Ambrosini won't play as he has a suspension from last season, so if Pizarro is unable to play, it might be Mati Fernandez who will start next to Borja Valero and Alberto Aquilani in the Fiorentina midfield.

The places on the left and right wing are reserved for captain Manuel Pasqual and Juan Cuadrado.  When it comes to the defense, beside Stefan Savić and Gonzalo Rodriguez who are certainties, it's likely Vincenzo Montella will use Nenad Tomović rather than Facundo Roncaglia as the last  member of the 3-man defense.

The elefanti will miss midfielder Sergio Almiron due to injury. Other than that, all of other players are available and even Maxi Lopez is among the 21 players called up, even though he is expected to leave the club before the end of transfer window.

Rolando Maran, Catania's tactician, will likely use the 4-2-3-1 formation, in which Mariano Izco and Panagiotis Tachtsidis will be the two defensive midfielders. Newcomer Sebastian Leto will take his place on the left wing, which means we will have an exciting duel between the former Panathinaikos winger and Fiorentina's Colombian Cuadrado.

Fiorentina injuries and suspensions:

Out: Massimo Ambrosini (suspended); Ahmed Hegazy (injury) In doubt: David Pizarro (injury)

Catania injuries and suspensions:

Out: Sergio Almiron (injury)

Predicted lineups

Fiorentina: Neto, Tomović, Rodriguez, Savić, Cuadrado, Mati Fernandez, Aquilani, Borja Valero, Pasqual,  Gomez, Rossi

Catania: Andujar, Alvarez, Bellusci, Spolli, Monzon, Izco, Tachtsidis, Castro, Barrientos, Leto, Bergessio

Match Date / Time

Monday, August 26 at 8:45 p.m. local / 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue

Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence

TV:

Sky Calcio 1, Sky Supercalcio HD (Italy); BT Sport 1 (UK)

Online:

beIN Sport Play (USA)

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