A pair of 0-1 losses at home (to Napoli and Manchester United) added to the air of crisis and the very poor (home) form, not to mention an offense that has been non existent. In the case of the missing goals the injury problems point to the source directly. The team hasn’t been able to field a team with a proper forward due to the long injury list. As that list seemed to be diminishing it has grown again. Ibra is back, hopefully to stay healthy while accepting an invitation back to the Swedish national team squad, but the list now looks like:
Davide Calabria – knee surgery, out at least a month
Alessio Romagnoli – leg muscles
Daniel Maldini – leg muscles
Rafael Leao – leg muscles
Mario Mandzukic – leg muscles
Add to that Rebic’s two game suspension for his dissent red card at the end of the Napoli match and the team remains handicapped.
Most of the remaining problems are not in best form and this doubles the problems facing Pioli.
Donnarumma will of course start in goal. In front of him there is a question of either Kalulu or Dalot as right back. The former hasn’t really shone when given recent minutes. It is likely then that the latter will start with Kjaer, Tomori and Hernandez. The two pivots in from the back four is like to be Tonali and Kessie. Both Bennacer and Meite are available but the former needs to be brought back to action with care and the latter was at least partly responsible for Manchester’s scrambled goal during the midweek Europa League match.
The front four remains the most fluid. Diaz, Calhanoglu and Saelemaekers should be the likely starters but calls for Hauge to get a start circulate while Pioli might prefer to use Krunic. Ibra is the only true center forward available and this why the match day squad includes primavera’s Riccardo Tonin.
Fiorentina are relatively healthy but their 3 wins in last 10 matches have been over Spezia, Crotone and Benevento. This explains their 14th position in the Serie A table.
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