Fiorentina should feel pretty good taking a 1-1 draw and an away goal back to Italy for Thursday's return leg against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League Round of 32, but they'll have to take care of business without two of their starters. Starting keeper Ciprian Tătărușanu and midfielder Borja Valero have reportedly both picked up injuries and will not feature for La Viola in Thursday evening's match.
Confirming the reports, Fiorentina released the names of Vincenzo Montella's squad to face Spurs at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on their official website and neither Valero nor Tătărușanu made the list:
Alonso, Aquilani, Babacar, Badelj, Bardini, Basanta, Fernandez, Gomez, Gonzalo, Ilicic, Joaquin, Lazzari, Lezzerini, Neto, Pasqual, Pizarro, Richards, Salah, Savic, Tomovic, Vargas.
Valero is Fiorentina's midfield boss and played well in the first match at White Hart Lane. His replacement will likely be Milan Badelj, a Croatian international. Former Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani might also be a preferred option, but he's just back from injury (again) and isn't likely 90 minutes fit.
Tătărușanu's injury means that Brazilian goalkeeper Neto will start between the sticks. Do you remember Neto? He was somewhat famous a couple of months ago after he did this in a December match against Cesena:
Yep, he's Fiorentina's Gomes.
We never cheer for player injuries, but Fiorentina is expected to be very difficult at home, and losing your midfield general and starting keeper in a critical "cup final" match is pretty important. Hopefully it will be enough to propel Spurs to victory Thursday night.