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Fiorentina v Tottenham preview

ACF Fiorentina have yet to concede in four home encounters with English sides and Vincenzo Montello is backing No2 keeper Neto as  Tottenham Hotspur FC visit.

Fiorentina v Tottenham preview
Fiorentina v Tottenham preview ©Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur FC will need to become the first English side to score away at ACF Fiorentina if they are to stand a chance of denying the Serie A outfit a place in the round of 16 with the score at 1-1.

What they say
Vincenzo Montella, Fiorentina coach:
"We need concentration, we need the same intensity for the whole 90 minutes and possibly more. We have to be a bit more clinical with the final pass this time. Neto [keeping goal in the injury absence of Ciprian Tătăruşanu along with forwards Giuseppe Rossi and Federico Bernardeschi] is a great professional, he trained really hard. I think that the team needs the support of the fans. We have to constantly play to win, that is the way we are. We have a duty to do so. There is a thin line between optimism and euphoria. What we want is a willingness to do well tomorrow."

Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham coach: "There are no unknowns. Fiorentina have good players and they play in an attractive way. They have a similar approach to us. They seek to play on the deck, they seek openings. It is an honour for me to be here, at this stadium where a lot of famous Argentinian players have played before. I have a clear idea for tomorrow, but I never disclose the names before the game. Tomorrow is our first final [ahead of Sunday's League Cup final against Chelsea FC]. We have to win tomorrow, to be better than Fiorentina, and only then think about the best approach for Sunday."

Previous meetings
• The teams met for the first time in UEFA competition in the first leg, drawing 1-1 at White Hart Lane. Roberto Soldado put Spurs in front after just six minutes, but the Viola registered an away goal before half-time through José Maria Basanta. They did also meet in two pre-season friendlies, Spurs prevailing 3-0 in 2001 and 3-2 in 2010, both games taking place in London.

Fiorentina have yet to lose (W3 D1) or concede a goal in four home encounters with English sides.

• Spurs' record in six away games against Italian sides is W1 D2 L3.

Fiorentina's only previous two-legged knockout tie against English opponents was decided on penalties – the Viola squeezing past Everton FC on Merseyside in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 16 in a shoot-out after the clubs had traded 2-0 home wins.

Form guide
Spurs have won their last two round of 32 ties since bowing out to FC Shakhtar Donetsk at the same stage of the 2008/09 UEFA Cup.

Fiorentina have won just one of their last five European home games (W1 D2 L2); Spurs have lost just one of their last five on the road (W2 D2 L1).

Trivia and links
Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates his 31st birthday on the day of the Fiorentina decider; Fiorentina's Milan Badelj turns 26 on the eve of the game.

• Erik Lamela is the sole Tottenham player with Serie A experience, having played for AS Roma from 2011–13; Fiorentina's David Pizarro was a team-mate in his first season in Rome.

Fiorentina's Mounir El-Hamdaoui was on the books at White Hart Lane from 2005–06 but never played a competitive game.

Fiorentina feature English talent in the shape of Micah Richards, who is on loan from Manchester City FC; Spurs forward Emmanuel Adebayor and Viola defender Stefan Savić are both former City team-mates of Richards.

Fiorentina's Mohamed Salah (Chelsea FC), Alberto Aquilani (Liverpool FC), Borja Valero (West Bromwich Albion FC), Giuseppe Rossi (Manchester United FC, Newcastle United FC) and Marcos Alonso (Bolton Wanderers FC, Sunderland AFC) all have Premier League experience.

Spurs (1972 and 1984) are among 11 former UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League winners in the round of 32.

The coaches
Fiorentina boss since June 2012, Vincenzo Montella was known as 'L'Aeroplanino' (the Little Aeroplane) because of his modest stature and trademark goal celebrations during his time as a striker. An Italian international, he won Serie A and two Coppa Italias with Roma, whom he later coached along with Calcio Catania.

• Ex-Argentina defender Mauricio Pochettino took charge of Tottenham last summer after a successful first 18 months in England with Southampton FC. A Copa del Rey winner during both his spells at RCD Espanyol, he also played for Paris Saint-Germain and FC Girondins de Bordeaux but returned to the Barcelona club for his first coaching role in 2009.