Fiorentina Without Gilardino For Reds Challenge
Fiorentina will have to overcome the absence of suspended top scorer Alberto Gilardino when they host UEFA Champions League Group E favourites Liverpool at the Stadio Franchi on Tuesday.
The Tuscans desperately need to win this match to thrust themselves back into qualification contention having lost their opener 1-0 in Lyon. Gilardino was sent-off in that match and will miss this encounter, proving a significant blow for the hosts as he is one of their most experienced players.
Gilardino has actually won the UEFA Champions League before as he was part of the AC Milan team that beat Liverpool 2-1 to win the 2007 trophy, with the striker replacing match-winner Filippo Inzaghi two minutes from time. Despite this handicap, Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli insists he is not heading into the match with a defeatist attitude.
“We have to approach this match with enthusiasm and desire, there’s no way we’ll begin a beaten team,” he said. History is not on Fiorentina’s side, though, despite never having lost at home to an English side nor conceded a goal. Their last victory in the UEFA Champions League group stages came back in March 2000 and last season they failed to make it out of their pool, which also included Lyon.