Vincenzo Italiano’s team seek to retain their spot in the top six with maximum points, while Claudio Ranieri’s side are in search of their first victory since regaining promotion.
Fiorentina have recovered from a slow start in Serie A to record two victories and a draw in their last three fixtures, having claimed one win in their campaign’s opening three games.
Italiano’s troops were thrashed 4-0 by Inter Milan at the start of September but recovered post-international break to defeat Atalanta BC 3-2, a game that irked La Dea boss Gian Piero Gasperini, who bemoaned his side’s mistakes and inability to seize the initiative.
That success has been the fillip for the Viola, whose seven points from nine placed them sixth before the commencement of round seven.
Monday’s game would be Fiorentina’s third in Florence this season, and their unbeaten run (four points from six) gives the home side the much-needed assuredness to secure maximum points.
If they are to avoid dropping points, the Viola must concede fewer chances and goals — 10 conceded outdoes all but Sassuolo (12) in the league’s top 10.
Visiting Florence in this gameweek are Cagliari, managed by the experienced Ranieri, who guided the club back to the big time after a year away.
The club from Sardinia have not enjoyed their return to the top flight, losing four of their six games, with only two goals scored and nine conceded.
One of their two goals came in the last match against Serie A contenders AC Milan when Ranieri’s troops took a shock lead through Zito Luvumbo before losing 3-1.
Cagliari are rock bottom after six matches, but they could leave the bottom three if they defeat Fiorentina and results elsewhere go in their favour.
However, they are winless in the last five against the Viola and have been on their recent two visits to the Artemio Franchi, letting in four altogether without conceding.
Fiorentina Serie A form:
Fiorentina form (all competitions):
Cagliari Serie A form:
We say: Fiorentina 2-0 Cagliari
Fiorentina have an impressive record against Cagliari, and a routine victory is likely against the struggling new boys.