Prandelli sets sights on top spot

Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli has urged his team not to take their foot off the gas when they face Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday night.

Last Updated: 08/12/09 at 20:31

Prandelli: Going all out for a win

Prandelli: Going all out for a win

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When the fixture schedule was drawn up for Champions League Group E, Prandelli's side may well have viewed a final match away against the five-time European champions as a major obstacle to their progress.

But the Serie A side lead the pool on 12 points and have already secured their place in the knockout phase, and arrived on Merseyside needing only to equal or better Lyon's result against Debrecen to be sure of winning the group.

Fiorentina have even taken the opportunity of turning the trip into a mini-holiday for the club, with players and staff having brought their wives and families to England for the occasion.

But Prandelli, 52, does not see this match as a reason for triumphalism.

He said: "We are top and we have qualified. But that is not enough.

"We still have the appetite for more success, we want to clinch top spot to give us a better chance in the draw for the last 16.

"Needing to finish top is an extra pressure for us, but it is good pressure to have.

"This is a historic moment for our club, but we still want to play well.

"We have a lot of injury problems so I do not know my side yet. I know that for Liverpool the group is over, and maybe they will field some reserves because they have a special game on Sunday against Arsenal.

"People are saying this is our most important moment. But I would like to start our future here for our city and our fans. I am pleased we have got this far, but I want to write some more pages in our history."

Prandelli arrived on Merseyside with plenty of problems, with key players Stevan Jovetic and Juan Vargas unable to train and Massimo Gobbi sidelined having picked up a muscle injury in training yesterday.

Jovetic is the greatest concern. He returned to the side at the weekend for the win over Atalanta after a toe injury, and limped out of the match after 50 minutes with an ankle problem.

The Montenegro international scored both goals when Fiorentina beat Liverpool 2-0 in this group back in September, and he is a key weapon in Prandelli's armoury.

Fiorentina are without Adrian Mutu (knee) while Alessandro Gamberini and Marco Marchionni both have thigh problems. Dario Dainelli is out through suspension.

Prandelli's problems are so severe that he is considering plunging into the transfer market in January.

He said: "Our squad is good enough, but with our injuries maybe we will try to sign some players. But it is not right to talk of the transfer market just yet.

"We can still continue to do well in the next month with the players that we have got already."

Told that Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez had likened Fiorentina to his emerging Reds squad of a few years back, Prandelli said: "Rafa is a friend and a fine coach, to say we remind him of his earlier Liverpool side is a nice thing.

"Maybe we can do what they did, by going to the final and winning like they did in Istanbul. We are trying to do our job, and we are getting there."

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