Fattori and Guagni preview Wolfsburg clash

Fattori and Guagni preview Wolfsburg clash

08/11/2017 13:02

Sauro Fattori declared that "miracles do happen" as his Fiorentina Women’s FC side prepare to face two-times UEFA Women’s Champions League winners Wolfsburg in the Round of 16 on Wednesday evening.

Fattori was appearing at a pre-match press conference alongside Viola defender Alia Guagni.

"It’s only natural that they’re the big favourites – they’re aiming to win the Champions League every single year," said the Fiorentina coach. "They always play a big role in this competition and their domestic league is of a very high standard. Having said that, we’ll just go out there and try to play as best we can. We’ll definitely need to be giving 100% and even a little extra too. If they play with a bit of indecision and if they’re a bit below their best and make a few mistakes, then we need to make sure we exploit them.

"I don’t think they have many weaknesses but it’s down to us to create them. We’ve identified a few things but obviously we need to put that into practice and that’s the difficult part."

The coach stressed that playing the first leg at home could work in his team’s favour, especially as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to rivals Brescia.

"Obviously the Franchi is our home and the fans our like own twelfth man," he said. "Whenever we play there we do everything we can to not let them down and I’m sure tomorrow night is going to be another big one. The tie lasts 180 minutes so his is only the first half, but a good result tomorrow would give us the boost we need to try and pull off a miracle. That said, miracles do happen so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t believe.

"Saturday’s defeat wasn’t good on many levels. However, our fitness looked better than it has done and we seemed to be approaching peak condition. I’m sure that the added motivation will mean we produce a top performance tomorrow night."

Guagni echoed her manager’s sentiments about Wolfsburg, pointing to the Germans’ physicality as one of the biggest challenges facing Fiorentina.

"We’ve analysed a lot of Wolfsburg matches so we know them well," she said. "I think their biggest strength is the fact that they’re all top-level athletes. It’s not so much about analysing the individuals but looking at how they move as a group. Their athletic prowess is really impressive so we need to focus on the team rather than the individual players, who are all very good in any case."

Yet Italian defender stressed that the team would be desperate to register a big Champions League performance on Wednesday evening.

"Playing in the Champions League always brings added motivation," she admitted. "It’s something we’ve all dreamed of since we were young so you’re obviously even more fired up than you are for league games. In truth we should be approaching all games with the same mentality, but the Champions League certainly brings real excitement."

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