Lecce hosts Fiorentina at the Stadio Via del Mare this Friday, in a Serie A game where both teams are struggling in 2024.
Lecce is dangerously close to relegation, and Fiorentina’s Champions League aspirations have suffered lately.
Roberto D’Aversa’s position as Lecce’s coach is under threat after a recent loss.
Lecce lost their lead and the game to Genoa last weekend, making it 14 points lost from winning positions this season, the most in the league.
With only one point from their last six matches, Lecce has fallen to 14th place, just three points above relegation.
D’Aversa needs a win soon, but Fiorentina, who Lecce has beaten at home only once in over 20 years, might not be the easiest opponent.
Fiorentina ended 2023 with an eight-game unbeaten streak but have struggled since the year started.
They lost to Sassuolo and have yet to win within 90 minutes this year, narrowly beating Bologna in the Coppa Italia on penalties.
A late penalty helped them draw against Udinese, but they were beaten 3-0 by Napoli in the Super Cup semi-final.
Despite having a game in hand, Fiorentina lost to Inter Milan recently, further hurting their league position.
Missed penalties in crucial moments have been costly for Fiorentina, affecting their position in the league standings.
Lecce Serie A form: L L D L L L
Fiorentina Serie A form: W W W L D L
Fiorentina form (all competitions): W L D D L L
Lecce will miss Kastriot Dermaku and Ylber Ramadani, with Ramadani suspended.
D’Aversa’s African Cup of Nations players are back, with Ahmed Touba and Lameck Banda playing last week.
Hamza Rafia is also back and expected to be in the squad.
Fiorentina welcomes back Cristiano Biraghi from suspension, but Jonathan Ikone is suspended due to a booking.
Gonzalez’s return from injury is a boost, despite his recent penalty miss.
Yerry Mina might leave the club, having struggled to secure a regular spot.
Injuries include Dodo and Gaetano Castrovilli, while Christian Kouame is still at AFCON.
Possible starting lineups:
Gendrey, Pongracic, Baschirotto, Gallo;
Kaba, Berisha, Oudin;
Almqvist, Krstovic, Sansone
Faraoni, Ranieri, Martinez Quarta, Parisi;
Arthur, Duncan, Bonaventura;
Gonzalez, Beltran, Sottil
Prediction: Lecce 0-1 Fiorentina
Time is running out for D’Aversa to improve Lecce’s situation, and this match poses a tough challenge.
Despite their struggles, Fiorentina faces a weaker opponent in Lecce, which could give them a chance to secure a much-needed win, especially with Gonzalez back in the lineup.