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Livorno v Fiorentina: Preview

Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella is expected to hand Giuseppe Rossi his first since returning from injury at Livorno on Sunday.

Striker Rossi, who was Serie A's top scorer before suffering a serious knee injury in January and missing four months, came on as a substitute and scored in Fiorentina's 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo on Tuesday - his second game back.

The goal was Rossi's 15th in 19 league appearances and has sparked talk that he could be named in Italy's World Cup squad.

The 27-year-old is fighting against the clock prove to Italy coach Cesare Prandelli that he is in top form.

``I am ready to play on Sunday and against Torino,'' Rossi said. ``My knee is fine, though of course there is always room for improvement.

``It's clear that I need to play in order to be included in the national team.

``But I also need to show I am in good physical shape and that I am capable of helping the team.''

Fiorentina head into the encounter knowing that they can guarantee a fourth-place finish in Serie A with victory on Sunday.

The Viola are four points clear of nearest rivals Inter Milan with two games remaining.

``I am proud of this team and of what it has achieved,'' Rossi said.

``We haven't had luck on our side with respect to injuries but we have a strong team.

``We have two matches left to play and we need to finish the season in the best possible way.''

Rivals Livorno fell 5-3 at Udinese last weekend to see their chances of escaping the drop all but fade away.

The Aramanto have lost their last five league games and lie at the foot of the standings, five points behind safety.

Livorno not only need to beat their Tuscan neighbours but also hope that Cagliari come out victorious against relegation-threatened Chievo to avoid the drop this weekend.

Livorno will not have top scorer Paulinho for the game due to suspension.

To complicate matters for Livorno, coach Davide Nicola and midfielder Leandro Greco must also serve a one-match ban.



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