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Debreceni VSC goalkeeper Vukašin Poleksić is ready to renew acquaintances with a old friend when ACF Fiorentina visit the Ferenc Puskás Stadium in Group E on Tuesday.
Poleksić will be attempting to keep out his Montenegrin international team-mate Stevan Jovetić, who at just 19 represents possibly Fiorentina's greatest threat after scoring twice for his country at the same venue in a 3-3 draw with Hungary in August 2008, and twice against Liverpool FC on UEFA Champions League Matchday 2. "In the last few years, Fiorentina have been one of the best teams from Italy, but we trust ourselves to attack and defend well enough," said Poleksić, who boasts 20 caps. "Stevan Jovetić is Fiorentina's best player in my opinion and he has been one of my best friends at national training camps since the new Montenegro national team was formed."
The match is sure to bring back memories for the 27-year-old, who spent the 2003/04 campaign in Serie A with US Lecce following a loan spell at the club in the preceding season, but he is glad to have moved on since then. "There is a difference in the levels of the two championships, of course, but now I play for a different type of team," he explained. "At Lecce we always fought against relegation, but here we have won two league titles in three years and always fight for the title. It's a good feeling to play for a team that competes for its country's league title and always plays important games."
His spell with Lecce means Poleksić also possesses experience against a number of his likely opponents, including Italian international Alberto Gilardino. "In my very first game for Lecce I was sent off in an incident that Alberto Gilardino was involved in, so I know him very well," said the Debrecen No1. Meanwhile, his Fiorentina counterpart Sébastian Frey paid tribute to his colleagues at the back, while admitting they may be tested by their hosts.
"There is a project at Fiorentina which we're all involved in together and I'm very proud to be a part of it," said the Frenchman. "That is to keep a stable lineup and to grow and improve together, which is demonstrated by the fact that our central defence has remained the same for the last few years. I don't know Debrecen's forwards but my coach [Cesare Prandelli] says they are a good team and we've watched their [1-0 loss to] Liverpool, so we know how well they can play."
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