Without a doubt the biggest inter-city rivalry in Italy should make for an entertaining encounter in Turin, especially as both sides desperately need points from this match to get closer to realizing their pre-season ambitions. Fiorentina outplayed their more illustrious opponents at Artemio Franchi earlier in the season, even if the match ended scoreless, but there is every chance we will see quite a few goals when the arch rivals meet in Turin.
Juventus back to winning ways
After the Serie A champions seriously reinforced the squad over the summer and most of their title rivals becoming much weaker, the league title was clearly Juventus’ to lose. The Biancocelesti indeed created a decent lead at the top of the standings during the opening exchanges, but the advantage has been melting quickly after the New Year. Juventus made no less than three unexpected slip-ups in the league, while also losing their Copa Italia semi-final tie to Lazio, so no wonder the alarm bells were on ahead of the clash with Chievo. In spite of the numerous selection problems, the Biancocelesti managed to return to winning ways and are now keen to see off Fiorentina as well and cement the first place in the standings. While the return of Mirko Vucinic is likely to aid team’s cause in attack, the absence of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci could prove to be a problem when facing the likes of Stevan Jovetic and Luca Toni, especially since talented midfielder Luca Marrone is expected to start in the heart of defence.
Leonardo Bonucci is suspended, while Chiellini, Pepe, Bendtner and Asamoah are all unavailable. Claudio Marchisio, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Sebastian Giovinco are injury doubts.
Viola finally back in business
The arrival of Vincenzo Montella and a plethora of high-quality players in the summer completely rejuvenated Fiorentina and they started playing great football in no time. Not always were their excellent showings rewarded with great results, but the promising displays were a great base for an assault on the Champions League places. Viola did experience some problems in the New Year, with the absence of playmaker David Pizarro the main reason for the dismal run of results, but as soon as the Chilean returned to the side, Fiorentina got back to winning ways, recording an easy win over Parma last weekend. The time has come for Vincenzo Montella’s side to prove their worth against arguably the best side in Italy, and the outstanding performance in the first match between the two teams this season can give them a lot of confidence ahead of the clash in Turin.
Giulio Migliaccio and Alberto Aquilani are both suspended, while Fernandez, Sissoko, Rossi, Hegazy and Camporese are also unavailable.
There is every chance we will see a very open game between two attack-minded sides looking to get one over their bitter rivals. Both Antonio Conte and Vicenzo Montella boast some high-quality attackers, which should guarantee us plenty of goals at Juventus Arena.
Top pick: Over 2.5 goals 1.95 (19/20) @ Coral
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.90 (9/10) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 2: Fiorentina with +1 Asian handicap 1.70 (7/10) @ bet365