Juventus - Fiorentina Preview: Bianconeri embark on big week
With the Serie A leaders set to continue their Champions League campaign on Tuesday, three points would be the perfect tonic to kick-start four crucial days
By Alec Fenn
Barzagli, Marrone, Caceres
Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, De Ceglie
Roncaglia, Rodriguez, Savic
Cuadrado, Romulo, Pizarro, Valero, Pasqual
Juventus displayed their battling qualities at just the right time last Saturday, as they defeated Chievo 2-1 and they will need much more of the same over the course of the next seven days.
With the Bianconeri resuming Champions League duties with a last 16 clash against Celtic on Tuesday, Fiorentina are a domestic obstacle they must first overcome.
Viola and head coach Vincenzo Montella have received plaudits for their season so far, with the club in sixth spot on 39 points going into the weekend, but Juve will still be confident of seeing off the Florence outfit and maintaining their three-point advantage at the top of the table.
Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Pepe and Nicklas Bendtner are all absent through injury, while Leonardo Bonucci serves the final game of a two-match ban.
Fiorentina will be without Matias Fernandez, Michele Camporese, Giuseppe Rossi and Ahmed Hegazy, as they look to build on a solid 2-0 victory over Parma in their last outing.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus are undefeated in 35 of their last 38 matches in Serie A.
- The Bianconeri are also unbeaten in their last nine games against Fiorentina in all competitions.
- The last clash between the two sides ended in a drab 0-0 draw in Florence back in September.
- Juve have won three, drawn two and lost one of their last five league games.
- Viola possess the highest scorer of any player in both sides, with Stevan Jovetic finding the back of the net nine times this season.
- On average, there have been over 2.5 goals scored in Fiorentina's last six away games in Serie A.
- Midfielder Borja Valero has eight assists to his name from midfield. Arturo Vidal has set up six of his side's goals this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 Fiorentina
- 21.57 %
Juventus 3-0 Fiorentina
- 12.87 %
Juventus 2-1 Fiorentina
- 12.78 %
|Europa League (EL)||20 Mar 2014||Fiorentina 0 - Juventus 1|
|Europa League (EL)||13 Mar 2014||Juventus 1 - Fiorentina 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||9 Mar 2014||Juventus 1 - Fiorentina 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||20 Oct 2013||Fiorentina 4 - Juventus 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||9 Feb 2013||Juventus 2 - Fiorentina 0|
|19 Apr 2014||Juventus 1 - Bologna 0||SR-A|
|14 Apr 2014||Udinese 0 - Juventus 2||SR-A|
|10 Apr 2014||Juventus 2 - Olympique Lyonnais 1||EL|
|7 Apr 2014||Juventus 2 - Livorno 0||SR-A|
|3 Apr 2014||Olympique Lyonnais 0 - Juventus 1||EL|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|24||Mounir El Hamdaoui||Striker|
It has been a long time coming in a Juventus shirt, but the 24-year-old at last looked the real deal in the 2-1 win over Chievo, scoring a sublime volley to open the scoring. Perhaps the arrival of Nicolas Anelka has at last sparked life into a striker who has frustrated so often.
At 23-years-old the Montenegro forward remains one of the hottest prospects in European football and his performances in Serie A continue to draw admiring glances from far and wide. Nine goals in 18 Serie A appearances is the mark of a top player and makes him Fiorentina's biggest threat.
The prospect of a Champions League clash with Celtic looms large on the horizon for Juventus and that could see several players take their eye off the ball. Fiorentina have impressed so far this season and will blow the Serie A title race wide open with a battling point.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed