Montella eager to upset mentor

Vincenzo Montella is eager to get one over on his former manager, Luigi Del Neri, as Fiorentina look to claim a first away win of the Serie A season on Thursday night.

Football News: Vincenzo Montella, Fiorentina

History may be against the Viola, who have taken just six points from their past nine outings as guests of the Grifone, but Genoa are currently languishing in the bottom half of the table while Fiorentina sit in fifth place.

Former Roma striker Montella knows Del Neri well from the latter's season in charge of the Giallorossi, with the 38-year-old also playing for Genoa's fierce rivals Sampdoria towards the end of his playing career.

Ahead of his return to the Marassi on Thursday night, Montella told Gazzetta.it: "When I was a child I dreamed of playing in that stadium.

"I'm happy to have played for one of the great teams of the city of Genoa.

"But this game will be very tough. It's true, they have lost two games on the spin, but those games were against Roma and Milan.

"I know Del Neri well, he is very enthusiastic and has a lot of knowledge to share.

"I hope we can play without feeling the pressure of not having won away from home yet."

In recent weeks Montella has expressed his frustration over a lack of consistency in front of goal, but clinical strikes from Adem Ljajic and veteran Luca Toni were enough to down Lazio 2-0 at the weekend.

Of his reinvigorated forward line, he added: "They scored against Lazio and I'm happy for them and for myself.

"I have a lot of options and I'm particularly happy that Ljajic is doing well.

"Toni and (Mounir) El Hamdaoui are also improving."

Toni, 35, has finally returned to Fiorentina after leaving Tuscany in a big-money move to Bayern Munich in 2007, spending a disappointing season with the Rossoblu on his way back home.

"I wasn't valued at Genoa," Toni told Gazzetta.it. "Then there were a few problems with the manager and the club forced me to leave.

"It will be a test of maturity for us."

La Viola are in good health, with only defender Michele Camporese missing, but Genoa are without Damiano Ferronetti, Marco Borriello and former Fiorentina winger Juan Manuel Vargas.



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