Having endured a nightmarish start to 2019/20, Fiorentina appear to have finally got their campaign back on track in recent weeks, new boss Beppe Iachini resolving many of the issues that plagued them under Vincenzo Montella and reaping the benefits almost immediately.
The new boss has now overseen three consecutive victories which, given they had previously not won in the league since October, underlines just how rapid the improvements have been. Key to their success has been the decision to bench Milan Badelj, the Coach believing that fielding both him and Erick Pulgar has hindered the Chilean’s impact.
That switch also saw Marco Benassi return to the starting XI and what followed has fully vindicated Iachini’s selection as a Pulgar assist led to German Pezzella scoring the only goal of the game with SPAL, while Benassi found the net with a superb strike in the draw with Bologna.
Ahead of them on Saturday should be Patrick Cutrone who has got his name on the scoresheet in the Coppa Italia but has yet to do so in Serie A. The former Wolves and AC Milan man would enjoy nothing more than changing that this weekend, and he may well have company up front should the Coach make a switch he suggested at a press conference this week.
“Everyone thinks that as a midfielder I don’t want to create goals for my players, but it isn’t so,” Iachini told reporters. “My job is to work to insert my best players. I like proactive football, in which all the players are doing well. In the past [at Palermo] I played with [Paulo] Dybala — [Franco] Vazquez — [Andrea] Belotti. This time we can also try Chiesa-Cutrone-Vlahovic.”
With left-back Dalbert Henrique suspended this weekend, it might be the perfect moment to try just that, with Martin Caceres sliding over from the three-man central defensive unit to make an orthodox back four of him, Pezzella, Nikola Milenkovic and Pol Lirola.
Such a bold move would make sense against a Genoa side who will arrive in Florence sitting rock bottom of Serie A, thanks largely to a defence which has conceded a league-worst 41 goals in the opening 20 rounds of action. They have lost each of their last three games and nine of their last 14, results which highlight just how poor the Grifone have been as three different managers have already tried to lead them this term.
Current incumbent Davide Nicola is expected to deploy a 3-5-2 formation as he did in last week’s loss to AS Roma, but he will be without injured trio Christian Kouame, Lukas Lerager and Cristian Zapata who all remain sidelined. For Fiorentina, only long-term absentee Franck Ribery as well as Kevin Prince Boateng will miss this match, the latter picking up a slight niggle in training that is expected to keep him out for a few more days.