Vincenzo Montella has fond memories of Catania ahead of tomorrow’s game, but Fiorentina are still without David Pizarro.
The Coach had great success on the Elefantini bench last season and returns for the first time as an opponent on Sunday afternoon. Click here for a match preview.
“I am happy to come back to Catania, as I will meet with many friends, the squad I still care about and will embrace many directors I had a special rapport with,” Montella told La Sicilia newspaper.
“Catania have grown in terms of mentality and football ideas, so you can see something important has been built there. I don’t want to discredit the current club when I say that ex-director Pietro Lo Monaco brought many of the players to Sicily during his reign.
“Coach Rolando Maran is doing so well. It’s not easy to keep the level up after a very positive season, especially at a club accustomed to fighting against relegation, but they are playing great football too. Obviously, the credit goes to the Coach and the club that put this long-term project together. These results are not flukes.”
Pizarro is still carrying a calf injury and won’t make the trip, while Marcelo Larrondo receives his first Fiorentina call-up.
Catania are without the suspended Gonzalo Bergessio and Francesco Lodi, who were cornerstones of Montella’s squad last year.
“I am very happy in Florence, but I will be totally honest and admit I really miss Sicily. I am a reserved person and it’s tough for me to get close to people, but in Catania it was the complete opposite.
“Will I be applauded or jeered at the Massimino? Perhaps a bit of both. Of course I hope to receive applause, but above all I want to receive the embrace of those who got to know me personally. I respect President Antonino Pulvirenti a great deal. I’ll go to hug him and hope he’ll do the same, even if he jeers me later...”
Fiorentina squad: Aquilani, Borja Valero, Camporese, Capezzi, Cassani, Cuadrado, Jovetic, Larrondo, Ljajic, Llama, Lupatelli, Migliaccio, Neto, Pasqual, Rodriguez, Romulo, Roncaglia, Savic, Seferovic, Tomovic, Toni, Viviano
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.