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Ranieri previews Fiorentina clash: “Tricky game against an ambitious side”


Ranieri previews Fiorentina clash: “Tricky game against an ambitious side”

Claudio Ranieri warned his Sampdoria players to expect a tough test when Fiorentina visit Marassi on Sunday afternoon as he appeared at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“The win over Torino was important because we got three points from another positive performance and because we showed our ability to react to adversity,” said Ranieri. “We know it’s going to be a battle until the end of the season, starting from our next match against Fiorentina.”

Ranieri urged his side not to be fooled by Fiorentina’s disappointing current league standing.

“I’m expecting a great match,” he said. “Fiorentina have been put together to aim for different targets compared to where they are at the moment, and they strengthened again in January. It’ll be a tricky game with both teams looking to find space and lots of back to front.”

Sunday will see Ranieri come up against Beppe Iachini, who is fondly remembered at Sampdoria and was coached by the current Doria boss at Fiorentina in the 1993/94 season.

“I remember him as a midfielder with a great temperament, which he is able to pass on to his teams now,” said Ranier. “You know how much grit he’s able to pass on to his teams. We need to be focused and aggressive. The 4-3-1-2 formation is part of this team’s DNA and we did well in that system at Torino, but with [Fabio] Depaoli coming back in we might switch to a 4-4-2, given that Fiorentina will play with a 3-5-2 formation.”

Ranieri also addressed the idea of giving teams the ability to call for VAR challenges during games.

“That could be a good innovation,” said Ranieri. “It would be a sign of openness from the officials. The referees are more competent than ever but you can miss things, so the technology could be used to make matches fairer and more real. In England, I learned that the football product is sold around the world, so you shouldn’t criticise the referees. Constant protests aren’t good for people who want to buy a product which is fluid and good to watch from a tactical perspective.”

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