SCOTT PETERSON - Sunday, November 6, 2011
Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona will look to get off the snide as they host ACF Fiorentina on Sunday in Serie A.
After a bright start to the season, Bradley and the Flying Donkeys of Chievo Verona have been reigned in of late, slipping to 15th place with 9 points, and are just two points above the drop zone. Chievo has lost their last three matches, two of them to clubs tipped to be in a relegation battle with the Veronans come season's end.
The biggest problem has not been, with last week's thrashing at the hands of Siena notwithstanding, their defense, but rather a lack of offensive potency as they have scored a single solitary goal in their past five matches in the Italian topflight.
Compounding matters for head coach Domenico di Carlo is a slew of injury concerns: defenders Bojan Jokic and Bostjan Cesar, and midfielder Rinaldo Cruzado all started last week, but are either serious doubts or have been completely ruled out for Sunday's match against Fiorentina in the Stadio di Marc'antonio Bentegodi.
Fiorentina is in the middle of the standings with 12 points, and had been winless since matchday four before taking care of Genoa 1-0 at home last week, and head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic can select from the entirety of his squad as they are injury-free coming into Sunday's encounter.
Their recent less-than-spectacular run of play notwithstanding, Fiorentina has quite the formidable and experienced squad with current Squadra Azzurri players Ricardo Montelivo and Alberto Gilardino in midfield and attack respectively. Chievo, however, would do wise to take notice of 22 year old Montenegrin striker Stefan Jovetic, who has been tearing it up so far this season, finding the back of the net 5 times in 9 matches.