Spurs v Fiorentina - we meet again!
14 December 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
We’ve been pitted against Fiorentina in the Europa League round of 32 for the second season in a row – and once again we’re due to face a stern test.
The Italian side are now managed by former Borussia Dortmund, Juventus and Inter Milan player Paulo Sousa, who has previously spent time in charge of Queens Park Rangers, Swansea City and Leicester City. He bossed Swiss side FC Basel last term before taking over from Vincenzo Montella in the summer.
Fiorentina are currently second in Serie A with 32 points after 16 games, having won 10, drawn two and lost four of their domestic matches to date.
Croatia international striker Nikola Kalinić is their top scorer in the league this season with nine goals so far. The former Blackburn Rovers player was an unused substitute for FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk when we met them in the Europa League during the 2013-14 campaign.
La Viola finished second to Basel in Europa League Group I this term with 10 points from their six games.
We drew 1-1 with Fiorentina in the first leg of last season’s round of 32 clash on Thursday, February 19, with Roberto Soldado’s early opener being cancelled out by José Basanta nine minutes before the break (highlights below on Spurs TV).
The return leg at La Viola’s Stadio Artemio Franchi a week later saw us go down 2-0 after second half goals from Mario Gomez and Mohamed Salah as we exited the competition 3-1 on aggregate.
This term, we will play the first leg away from home. The dates for the two-legged tie are not confirmed but are scheduled for Thursday, February 18, and Thursday, February 25.
Prior to last season, we had met Fiorentina five times in our history. The first game took place as part of the Toronto Cup tournament in May, 1969, and saw us lose 3-0, while a 1-1 draw followed in the group stage of the Japan Cup in Tokyo in May, 1979.
In 1997, we lost 2-0 to Fiorentina at White Hart Lane in midfielder David Howells’ testimonial, while we also hosted them in a testimonial for our legendary former manager Bill Nicholson four years later – a game which resulted in a 3-0 win for us. In addition, we beat La Viola 3-2 in a home pre-season friendly ahead of the 2010-11 campaign.
Above: Giovani dos Santos up against Fiorentina in August, 2010.