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Both AC Fiorentina and Lille OSC will be looking to make UEFA Cup progress on Thursday as a way of diverting attention from disappointing results at home. The French team won in Italy two weeks ago and will be confident of completing the job and booking a fourth round place.
Youngster gets call
Fiorentina coach Robert Mancini has said that Argentinian youngster Ezequiel González will definitely be in the starting lineup alongside Nuno Gomes with Domenico Morfeo still recovering from injury. González said: "I hope I can help Fiorentina to go on in the competition. It's an important chance for me and I hope to get more chances in the future so I can help the team more."
Mancini chasing change of fortune
Mancini, whose side trail to Dagui Bakari's goal from the first leg, is badly in need of a change of fortune. At the weekend Fiorentina lost a relegation battle with Piacenza FC 3-1 at the Artemio Franchi stadium and now find only AC Venezia beneath them in the Serie A table. Mancini's squad has recently been strengthened by the addition of former Hellas-Verona FC defender Marco Franceschetti until the end of the season at least, although he is not eligible for this game.
LOSC failed to follow up their win in Tuscany in the way they would have wished and last weekend were removed from the French League Cup by second division AS Nancy-Lorraine. Coach Vahid Halilhodzic, who accused Fiorentina of being scared of his team in the first game, made several changes before the weekend fixture and declared that the result showed the limitations of his squad.
He was upset when the crowd showed their displeasure with the display and in recent days the Bosnia-Herzegovnian coach, who has taken Lille from the second division to the UEFA Champions League, has again repeated that it would not take much for him to walk out of the club. Injuries are affecting his captain Pascal Cygan and midfield player Fernando D'Amico.
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