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Decision time approaches for Fiorentina

FC Bayern München visit ACF Fiorentina on Wednesday knowing a victory could take them through but Viola coach Cesare Prandelli is confident that with home support they can take revenge for their 3-0 loss in Germany.

Cesare Prandelli believes Fiorentina's home support could give them the edge against Bayern
Cesare Prandelli believes Fiorentina's home support could give them the edge against Bayern ©Getty Images

ACF Fiorentina head into Wednesday's visit of FC Bayern München in sore need of a victory to revive their chances of reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout stage.

Bayern chance
Matchday 4 could prove decisive in Group F, which Bayern lead with seven points ahead of Olympique Lyonnais on five, Fiorentina with two and FC Steaua Bucureşti on one. A repeat win for Bayern after their 3-0 triumph against Cesare Prandelli's side two weeks ago, coupled with Lyon avoiding defeat by Steaua at the Stade de Gerland, would qualify the Bundesliga club for the last 16. For Fiorentina, the aim will be to exploit their home advantage at a boisterous Artemio Franchi Stadium to keep in touch with Lyon.

Costly goals
The Viola have so far struggled to hit their top form in Europe, however, with the loss to Bayern in Germany being preceded by a 0-0 home draw with Steaua. They may also rue letting a two-goal advantage slip with 17 minutes to go in the Matchday 1 draw at Lyon. Yet Prandelli, whose team are eighth in the Serie A table after succumbing 1-0 at Tuscan neighbours AC Siena on Sunday, is convinced his charges will rise to the occasion.

Home support
"In the away game, Bayern showed us they are an international side," Prandelli said. "But Wednesday will be a very different game. We owe it to ourselves and to our fans to put on a big performance and I'm confident we'll do that. We've got to go into it properly. Without fear or second thoughts, but with all the enthusiasm of a team who want to get better. We've got nothing to lose."

Toni out
Bayern, on a run of five wins which has lifted them to third place in the Bundesliga, will not be short of confidence. However, they will be without former Fiorentina striker Luca Toni, who remains out with bruised ribs and a stomach muscle problem, while defender Philipp Lahm has an ankle injury. Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann is upbeat about their prospects. "We're on form, and we've been in good shape in the Bundesliga," he said. "We know it's going to be difficult, that Fiorentina are a good side, and that they will have their fans behind them. But we're ready."

'Open game'
Klinsmann, who led the line for Fiorentina's Serie A rivals FC Internazionale Milano and UC Sampdoria in his playing days, believes Wednesday's meeting could be a thriller. "Fiorentina have to win and, for us, the situation is completely different from what we've faced in our last three Bundesliga matches where teams have mainly tried to defend," he said. "Our character is to go forward and look for goals, and Fiorentina have to do the same. It's probably going to be a very open, attacking game."