This is one of Italy's biggest rivalries and this time Turin is the host city...Rejuvenated And Resurrected
Juventus were on the verge of being in shambles at the start of the season and there were talks of yet another disappointing campaign. The arrival of Luigi Del Neri as the coach was hailed as a brilliant decision on the part of the Bianconeri board but initial results threatened to further wither the Old Lady.
However, Del Neri has repaired the damage and rejuvenated Juventus, who are currently perched on the fourth spot in the league standings and have mustered 23 points from 13 matches. Even more encouragingly perhaps, the Fidanzata d'Italia have not lost a competitive fixture since late September and defeated Genoa 2-0 last weekend.
With just six points separating them from league leaders Milan, Juventus have returned to the Scudetto race but they have to continue to improve. The Turin-based side are trying to temper talks of winning the Serie A title but they must be keen to launch a rally especially given that the likes of Inter and Lazio are dropping points while Roma are recovering from early season slow pace.
Resuming The Hate
Fiorentina love to hate Juventus and the Viola fans consider Italy's most successful club as their most fierce rivals. Interestingly, the Juve supporters do not reciprocate the same feelings of hate but that doesn't stop the Florentines to stop loathing them.
Indeed, on Saturday evening the Gigliati supporters will resume their hatred of Juve and will pass it on to their players. The match is massively important historically but is equally significant in terms of the current league standings. Sinisa Mihajlovic's side have recovered from a poor run of results in the beginning of the campaign and are now four points above the relegation zone in 13th place with 15 points.
Winning in Turin would be tough for the former Italian champions as they have yet to register an away victory in the league in 2010-11. Fiorentina have taken just two points from their six matches on the road and have also lost their last two on the trot away from the Artemio Franchi. But this is a game in which the players will be fired up and it could just click for the former European Cup finalists.
Buffon, Legrottaglie, Rinaudo, Grygera, De Ceglie, Martinez and Amauri are out of the fixture because of injuries. Del Neri will deploy his favoured 4-4-2 formation that will have Iaquinta and Quagliarella as the two strikers. Sissoko and Felipe Melo will be the two defensive midfielders in a double-pivot system.
Frey, Montolivo, Jovetic, Zanetti, Mutu and Natali will miss the trip to Turin as they are injured while Kroldrup and Gulan are suspended. Gilardino will be the lone striker upfront in a 4-2-3-1 system.