The Know Your Enemy series officially ends with Fiorentina. Fiorentina has been overlooked in the series due to the fact that the club simply isn't good enough to challenge Roma. With that being said, the Viola are still one of the top teams in Italy. Here's what Fiorentina has been up to since sacking former Roma golden boy Vincenzo Montella in June:
Last Season: 4th place, 64 points, +15 goal differential
Manager: Paulo Sousa
Key Additions: Luigi Sepe, Mario Suarez, Nikola Kalinic, Davide Astori
Key Departures: Neto, Stefan Savic, Mario Gomez, Alberto Aquilani, Mohamed Salah, David Pizarro
Fiorentina has certainly lost some key pieces of its team this summer, including its manager, and it remains to be seen if the replacements are adequate. The Viola gave up 46 goals last season, which isn't a horrible number, but it's sure to go up with defender Stefan Savic being replaced with the walking disaster that is Davide Astori.
On the attacking side, Fiorentina will rely on a committee of forwards to replace the production of Mario Gomez. New signing Nikola Kalinic will try to help forward Giuseppe Rossi shoulder the scoring load and improve on the 61 goals scored by the club during last year's campaign. It will be difficult to predict how Fiorentina will play this year, as this season will be manager Paulo Sousa's first in charge at the club.
Style Of Play
There's a very small sample size of Sousa's tactics, from Fiorentina's preseason games this summer, due to the fact that Sousa himself only arrived earlier in the summer. So far the results have been encouraging, as wins against Chelsea, Barcelona, and Benfica have given fans hope for the new Serie A campaign.
Sousa joined Fiorentina after one year in charge of Swiss super club Basel, a regular in the UEFA Champions League. If Sousa's tactics with Basel in the Champions League are an indicator of things to come, expect Fiorentina to line up in a slew of different formations this year. Move over Claudio Ranieri, there might be a new tinkerman in town; Sousa favored the 4-3-3 formation most of the time, but also utilized the 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 formations.
In a 4-3-3 formation for next season, Fiorentina would line up with Giuseppe Rossi at striker, and promising youngster Federico Bernardeschi and makeshift winger Josep Ilicic would probably man the wings. The Viola midfield should remain solid despite losing depth this summer, with Borja Valero and Matias Fernandez being joined by summer signing Mario Saurez in the starting lineup. The back will probably leak goals though unless defensive reinforcements arrive for Fiorentina.
If Giuseppe Rossi can stay healthy and Federico Bernardeschi has the breakout season many are predicting, then Fiorentina would be strong in attack and midfield. The defense, however, remains suspect until further defensive reinforcements arrive.
Biggest Question Mark
It's been said before, and it'll be said again: the defense. Seriously, replacing Stefan Savic with Davide Astori doesn't bode well for the future at all.
Scudetto Threat Factor: 0/10
While Fiorentina remain in the upper tier of Serie A, they just aren't a factor to lift the coveted scudetto. The Viola haven't done enough to keep up with the rest of Serie A in this summer's transfer market to even be considered a threat.
Roma Threat Factor: 0/10
Fiorentina really aren't even a threat to push Roma at all this season. The club should be hoping to compete for European places at best in the upcoming season.