Fiorentina-Milan Preview: Intense Emotions

Pioli has said every time his phone rings, it still jars him. Saturday marks five years to the day since Pioli got the call. It was matchday, and his captain, Davide Astori, did not wake up, having died in his sleep. That was when he was managing... you guessed it... Fiorentina. And while that was an away match, you know that this match will be very difficult for him as he returns to the Artemio Franchi once again, where he is still respected by Fiorentina fans. He even had difficulties getting through his press conference on Friday when he was asked about his former player, and he said "He is always with me." This match will be one of intense emotions.

Sometimes a life becomes more important than a match

Ahead of this occasion, the Davide Astori Association and Fiorentina have organized a special fundraiser. They are raising money for treatment of sickle cell anemia in Cameroon, particularly for the children who are suffering there. Pioli shared a special message for the fundraiser, stating that this is a great opportunity to "transform the pain of Davide's absence into good deeds, as he would have done."

Much is being done to keep the memory of Astori alive

As for the football, Fiorentina have been struggling in the league, slipping to 12th place, while flying high in Europe, winning convincingly in the UEFA Conference League with tons of goals. Until Monday. This past Monday, just before we face them, of course, they found their league form and defeated Hellas Verona 3-0. For that match, Italiano lined up: Terracciano; Dodô, Martínez Quarta, Igor, Terzić; Amrabat, Mandragora, Ikoné, Barák, González; and Cabral. Italiano is only missing Terzić to injury, but has Milenković back. He also has former Milan players Bonaventura and Saponara as weapons against us.

Please don't break our hearts any further, Jack

As we talked about on the latest podcast, Pioli had an injury-free squad this week. For one day. Florenzi, Bennacer, and Calabria are all back in full training and are match fit for this one. However, Brahim Díaz has a slight knee sprain, so will not play on Saturday. Also, Gabbia has a fever, and may not travel to Florence. Both Krunić and Leão are suspended for this match due to card accumulation, so we are back to missing up to four players. (sigh) But we did have one day with a completely healthy squad. Unlike when we met in November, when Pioli was missing seven players when we hosted Fiorentina at the San Siro.

Pioli at Fiorentina, shortly after Astori's passing

Coming off of a 2-0 win over Atalanta on Sunday, Milan are feeling confident, with all of our long-term injured players back and having won four matches in a row. But this is an away match, and with the extra emotional component, anything could happen. Astori did grow up in the Milan Youth Sector, after all, so it is an emotional match for everyone. Regardless of what coaches say about focusing on one match at a time, both managers will have their respective upcoming European matches at the back of their minds, too, because of the financial pressures associated with them. But more than anything, Pioli will certainly have plenty of memories and experience plenty of intense emotions.

This post inspired by the music of Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 25
Fiorentina vs. Milan
Saturday, March 4, 2023 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on Paramount+ in the U.S.

Fiorentina-Milan Preview: Intense Emotions Fiorentina-Milan Preview: Intense Emotions Reviewed by Elaine on 10:00 PM Rating: 5
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