I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: one of my favorite things about our larger SB Nation community is simply the web of passionate fans illogically and irrationally obsessed with their club of choice. We all know Fiorentina as the team that gave us Gabriel Batistuta and will soon do the same with Federico Chiesa, but we’re by no means experts on the Viola, nor do we really know how they feel about Saturday’s fixture.
So, to gain a bit of insight into Fiorentina, we traded a handful of questions with our friends at Viola Nation. Bit thanks to Tito for taking the time to swap questions with us. You can find their version here.
Fiorentina has suffered a somewhat similar fate as Roma, to what do you owe their inconsistencies?
Viola Nation: It’s tough to figure out what Fiorentina’s biggest problem is, but I’d say it’s a tendency to become too direct. There isn’t a whole lot of inventiveness in midfield, so they tend to lump it forward and hope that someone (well, Fede Chiesa) does something good. That means they can’t control matches, and it seems that opponents are starting to figure them out.
Outside of Federico Chiesa, which player should Roma, or any opponent for that matter, fear the most?
VN: The defense has been tremendous all year, so that could prove frustrating for one Edin Dzeko. The second-best attacker on the team right now is a defender, in fact. Cristiano Biraghi has grown into one of the best leftbacks in Italy largely because of his fantastic crossing, especially from deep positions. I’d also watch out for Gerson, just because ex-players always seem to cause problems for everyone, but he may have fallen behind Edimilson Fernandes in the pecking order of late.
Tell us a bit about our dear old Gerson: What were your initial impressions of him? What’s been the key to his success in purple this year?
VN: Gerson’s been pretty good, actually. He’s fit into the midfield nicely as a runner. I think what stands out most is his ability to dribble through traffic; he plays a little bit like an old dude hooping at the Y: all weird angles and butt knocking people out of the way, but inexplicably effective. He’s been better defensively than advertised, too. His passing has been safe rather than incisive, though, and he hasn’t really done too much in the final third. He’d probably do pretty well as part of the double pivot in EdF’s 4-2-3-1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Corvino tried to work out a deal for him this summer.
We obviously live in our own bubble, but what is your impression of Roma? Are they a side that worries you, or are they simply overhyped?
VN: Roma’s been a bit of a bogeyman fixture for the past few years; 7 losses in the last 10 league matchups means that I’m always nervous for this one. Even though it seems like they’re misfiring in Serie A a bit right now, I’ve been a Viola fan for long enough to know that Florence is the perfect place to get a win against a quality team to flip a season around. The short answer is yeah, I’m definitely worried, even with all the injuries yall are carrying.
Lastly, what’s your prediction for the match?
VN: I want to call this one a 2-1 to Fiorentina, with a goal from Giovanni Simeone to break his dry spell and another from, like, Vitor Hugo or something off a set piece. I’d also expect yall to pull one back from a set piece, which the Viola have defended atrociously this year. I’m hoping for a pretty open, positive match, although I think there’s also the potential for things to get very choppy in the middle.
Wait, one more. Sell us Chiesa, pretty please?
VN: This blog is over!
Thanks again to our colleagues at Viola Nation. If you’re curious about the owners of some of the best kits in football, head on over there.