Time is running out for ACF Fiorentina, who know they have to take all three points against an FC Bayern München hoping to continue their unbeaten start if they are to keep alive their realistic hopes of progress from Group F.
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ACF Fiorentina will believe that they have to secure a victory against FC Bayern München to breathe renewed optimism into their UEFA Champions League prospects after they followed two draws with a defeat against the German champions on Matchday 3. Bayern are well placed with a two-point lead at the top of Group F following two wins and a draw from their three games.
• Bayern's 3-0 victory on Matchday 3 contained a sting in the tail for Fiorentina in the shape of their former striker Luca Toni, who had a hand in both the home team's first-half goals scored by Miroslav Klose and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Zé Roberto curled in a delightful third late on, his second goal of the campaign.
• Fiorentina need a win on Matchday 4 and will certainly be looking to do better than their previous home game in the section when they drew 0-0 with FC Steaua Bucureşti at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. It was a game that did not feature a great deal of flowing football and although early chances arrived for Adrian Mutu and Alberto Gilardino, neither could make them count.
• The Viola's campaign – their second appearance in the competition in its current guise – began with a 2-2 away draw at Olympique Lyonnais. Two headed goals by Gilardino gave the visitors a wonderful start but they were unable to protect the lead with Karim Benzema securing a point for the home side four minutes from time.
• This is the first time the Florence club have played host to German opposition in an official match for 18 years, and in both the last two meetings they failed to score. The 1989/90 UEFA Cup semi-final second leg with Werder Bremen ended 0-0 but that was enough to take the Italian team through after a 1-1 first leg. In the final Fiorentina lost 3-1 on aggregate to Serie A rivals Juventus.
• In the first round of the same competition 12 years previously, the Viola lost 3-0 at home to FC Schalke 04, going down 5-1 on aggregate. Their only previous home game with German visitors ended in a 1-0 win against FSV Zwickau in the 1975/76 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup second round.
• Bayern's previous away game in the pool had brought joy to the Bundesliga champions as Daniel Van Buyten's early header ensured they began the campaign on a winning note against Steaua. They followed that with a 1-1 draw against Lyon at the Fußball Arena München. Jürgen Klinsmann's men were forced to come from behind as Martín Demichelis inadvertently flicked Juninho Pernambucano's long-range free-kick into his own net. The hosts responded after the break, Zé Roberto powering in a header to secure a draw.
• This is the fifth time in their last six UEFA Champions League campaigns that Bayern have been paired with Italian opponents in the group stage. They were unbeaten on their last two visits to that country, both in 2006/07, drawing 2-2 at AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals having won 2-0 in the same stadium against FC Internazionale Milano in the group stage.
• The Munich club have won three times in a total of eleven visits to Italy, their other victories including another at Inter's expense in the 1988/89 UEFA Cup third round when Bayern won 3-1. They also triumphed 2-1 in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final at AS Roma.
• Gilardino was in the Milan side held 2-2 by Bayern in the Italian leg of the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League quarter-final.
• Gilardino also appeared as a substitute for Italy against Germany in the 2006 FIFA World Cup semi-final played in Dortmund, replacing Toni, who then played for Fiorentina, but now leads the line at Bayern. Massimo Oddo, signed by the Bundesliga giants this summer, was an unused substitute for the Azzurri. Philipp Lahm, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski, Tim Borowski and Bastian Schweinsteiger all featured for the host nation.
• Toni scored 47 league goals in 67 games for Fiorentina before joining Bayern in July 2007. He was the leading Serie A scorer in his first season with the Viola in 2005/06 with 31 strikes.
• Toni and Mutu were on opposite sides when Italy faced Romania in Zurich at UEFA EURO 2008™.
• Mutu played for Romania against France in the FIFA World Cup qualifying tie in Constanta on 11 October. Franck Ribéry scored France's first in the 2-2 draw.
• Mutu also played 24 minutes as a second-half substitute in Juventus's 2-1 loss at Bayern in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League group stage. He then came on for a further 14 minutes in the return match in Turin when Juve turned the tables to win by the same scoreline.
• Lyon take on Steaua in the section's other game.