Coppa Italia Preview: Udinese v Fiorentina
By Football News
Udinese will likely have revenge on their mind when hosting Fiorentina in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final on Tuesday.
Fiorentina sent Udinese out of the competition at the last-16 stage a year ago, with Borja Valero's goal securing a 1-0 win at the Stadio Friuli.
That was the visitors' third straight win over Udinese in all competitions, but Francesco Guidolin's men have won both meetings with Fiorentina since.
A continuation of their recent form against Vincezo Montella's side will put Udinese in the driving seat as they seek to reach a first Coppa Italia final since the opening year of the competition in 1922.
The Coppa Italia has proved a bright spot for Udinese in an otherwise disappointing 2013-14 campaign, with the club sitting 14th in Serie A having won only seven league games.
However, they go into Tuesday's clash buoyed by a 2-0 win over Bologna that put an end to a four-match losing streak in the league.
Guidolin was pleased with his side's showing in the victory, which saw Antonio di Natale and Nicolas Lopez on target, and called on Udinese to carry their form into Tuesday's game.
"The more experienced players helped the younger ones throughout," he said.
“We played with a personality and fluency and, in the second half, we were solid. We must continue with this spirit and attitude going forward."
Conversely, fourth-placed Fiorentina are flying high in the league but tasted defeat in Serie A for the first time in seven matches against Cagliari on Saturday.
The six-time winners were undone by a Mauricio Pinilla penalty and will be eager to bounce back quickly as they look to reach the final for the first time since they were crowned winners in 2001.
Last season, having beaten Udinese, Fiorentina were knocked out at the next hurdle by beaten finalists Roma.