Fiorentina will look to end their five-year exile from Europe when they host Twente on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa Conference League play-off (8pm kick-off, UK time).
The Violets were Europa League semi-finalists as recently as 2015 at a time when they had Mohamed Salah, Mario Gomez and Marcos Alonso knocking about, but since a round-of-32 exit from the competition in 2017, the Tuscans have endured a half-decade absence from continental nights. Having finished seventh in Serie A last term, Vincenzo Italiano has a chance to end that barren spell, though Twente will certainly be no pushovers, having battered Cukaricki 7-2 the round prior.
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Fiorentina team news
A slew of Italiano’s new signings either started or entered the fray in Fiorentina’s curtain-raising win over Cremonese at the weekend. Luka Jovic, signed on a free from Real Madrid, netted the club’s second goal, before £7m recruit from Juventus, Rolando Mandragora, bagged the winner in a 3-2 thriller. Pierluigi Gollini also started between the sticks after his non-existent spell at Tottenham last season, while attacking full-back Dodo came on late into the game. Expect the quartet to feature in some capacity on Thursday.
Twente team news
Christos Tzolis largely flattered to deceive in the Premier League with Norwich last season, but the 20-year-old may enjoy greater success in the Netherlands. Ron Jans brought the 13-capped Greek international on for 18 minutes in the second leg of the previous round against Cukaricki, and he repaid the faith shown in him by netting a 10-minute brace. Michel Vlap, brought in from Anderlecht this summer, has also been in prolific form, netting in both legs against Cukaricki, and recently setting up Virgil Misidjan in the club’s 3-0 win over Fortuna Sittard at the weekend. Both players will be in line to feature here.
Scoreline prediction: Fiorentina 2-1 Twente
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