Udinese hope revival continues at Fiorentina

A revitalised Udinese visit Fiorentina on Sunday looking to take a big step towards retaining their Serie A status.

Udinese's Nico Lopez

Victory at the Artemio Franchi stadium would allow Udinese to be able to plan with some confidence for another season in the top flight.

Traditionally, 40 points is the magic figure that clubs aim for at the start of the campaign and ahead of tomorrow's encounter, Udinese have 38 points in the bank as the season enters its final seven weeks.

Last weekend's 1-0 triumph over Catania, courtesy of Antonio Di Natale's goal, marked Udinese's third win in five games.

The result allowed Francesco Guidolin's side to climb to 14th place, 13 points clear of the danger zone.

After a slow start to the year, Udinese are beginning to find their touch at the right time, much to the relief of club owner Giampaolo Pozzo.

"We have struggled this season," Pozzo said. "I believe 38 points might be just enough to avoid the drop.

"Another win would give us the certainty we need to finally turn the page on what has been a very difficult campaign."

Udinese will have to do without injured captain Di Natale in Florence.

The veteran striker, who is Udinese's top scorer this season with 11 league goals, sustained a right knee injury at the weekend and is expected to sit out his team's next three games.

Di Natale's absence will be a blessing for Fiorentina.

"Di Natale is a very important player and if he doesn't play that will be good news for us," Fiorentina midfielder Alberto Aquilani said.

"In any case Udinese is a strong side, that has always made like difficult for us.

"We will need to be concentrated from start to finish."

The Viola followed their 2-0 loss to AC Milan with a goalless draw at Sampdoria last time out.

Vincenzo Montella's side is fourth in the standings, just three points clear of fifth-place Inter Milan.

"We need to maintain our focus at this crucial stage of the campaign," Aquilani said. "It would be a pity to throw away all the good work we have done so far."

The hosts will be without suspended defender Stefan Savic.



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