Fiorentina will hope to throw a monkey wrench in Juventus’s plans as they take on their bitter rivals at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Friday evening.
The Viola have had a long-standing hatred for the Bianconeri, and the recent transfer of rising star Federico Bernadeschi to Turin this past summer certainly has not helped relations between the two clubs. It definitely will be interesting to see the reception Bernadeschi will receive from Fiorentina fans as he’s expected to feature in the biggest clash of this round, and the last time the two sides met at this ground, Fiorentina won 2-1. It wasn’t enough to prevent Juve from winning the Scudetto, but it definitely gave the Tuscan side a great deal of satisfaction. Can they again repeat the same feat this time around?
The hosts come into this game having earned a hard fought win over Bologna to end their bad patch of form. They will be desperate to make some amends here after suffering an embarrassing 4-1 loss to lowly Hellas Verona in their last home match, which was a shocking result, to say the least. Meanwhile, Massimiliano Allegri’s men have been in imperious form as they aim to chase down an equally strong Napoli in what has been one of the most interesting Scudetto races in recent times. Juventus come into this game having thrashed a hapless Sassuolo 7-0, during which Gonzalo Higuain scored his first ever hat-trick for La Vecchia Signora and have won their past seven league games. Since losing to Sampdoria, they have won nine of their last ten, with just one draw to Inter, and have kept clean sheets in all but one of their last ten league fixtures. The only exception was during a game with Hellas Verona, where the Gialloblu managed to nick a goal, but it was all in vain as Juve still won that fixture 3-1.
Next up for Allegri’s troops is a crunch clash with Tottenham. Along the way, they’ve beaten Atalanta 1-0 to set themselves up nicely for the Coppa Italia final, so they pretty much have part one of the Treble already in the bag, provided they don’t lose the second leg in Turin. Catching Napoli in the Scudetto race could be tough as the Partenopei are already out of the Coppa Italia and it’s not that likely they are going to be taking the Europa League that seriously, either.