Artemio Franchi, Florence
Tuesday 29 September 2009 – 20.45CET (20.45 local time)
Group E – Matchday 2
ACF Fiorentina welcome Liverpool FC to the Stadio Artemio Franchi aiming to both bounce back from their 1-0 loss at Olympique Lyonnais on Matchday 1 and improve on their home showing in last season’s UEFA Champions League.
• The Viola took two points from a possible nine in Florence during the 2008/09 group stage and will know they must do better against a Liverpool side unbeaten on their travels in last term’s competition, with three wins and three draws, and who opened this year’s campaign with a 1-0 defeat of Debreceni VSC at Anfield.
• Fiorentina last won a home game in the UEFA Champions League proper in March 2000 – a 1-0 success against Valencia CF – yet they can take heart from an unbeaten home record against English sides in UEFA club competition.
• The Tuscan club have never lost nor even conceded a goal at home against English opposition. Their record is W2 D1 L0.
• Fiorentina beat Liverpool’s neighbours Everton FC 2-0 in their last meeting with an English outfit in the UEFA Cup round of 16 in 2007/08. The Viola subsequently lost by the same score on Merseyside but advanced as 4-2 winners on penalties.
• Liverpool’s last four away games against sides from Serie A yielded two wins and two draws – as well as four clean sheets.
• Rafael Benítez’s side won 1-0 at FC Internazionale Milano on their most recent trip to Italy in the UEFA Champions League first knockout round in March 2008, Fernando Torres scoring the only goal.
• The Anfield team’s overall away record against Italian teams is W2 D2 L4. This does not include their penalty shoot-out win against AS Roma in the 1983/84 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final at the Stadio Olimpico as, technically at least, this was a neutral venue.
• Liverpool also won their first European Cup in 1977 in Rome, beating VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1.
• They secured their fifth European crown by defeating another Italian side, AC Milan, on penalties after a 3-3 draw in that remarkable final in Istanbul in 2004/05.
• As a player, Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli was in the Juventus team that beat Liverpool 1-0 in the 1985 European Cup final, appearing for the final six minutes as a substitute.
• Prandelli had mixed fortunes against English opponents in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup with Juventus, winning one semi-final against Manchester United FC (1983/84) but losing another against Arsenal FC (1979/80).
• Viola front man Alberto Gilardino came on as an 88th-minute substitute for match-winner Filippo Inzaghi during Milan’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League final triumph against Liverpool in 2007.
• Fiorentina forward Adrian Mutu faced Liverpool once during a spell in England with Chelsea FC, finishing on the losing side with a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Stamford Bridge in January 2004.
• Per Krøldrup had a short-lived spell on Merseyside with Everton in the first half of 2005/06.
• Liverpool’s squad includes Italian internationals Alberto Aquilani and Andrea Dossena, the latter a former team-mate of Fiorentina’s Cesare Natali at Udinese Calcio.