The Old Lady travel to Florenze to pick up the three points that could see them clinch the Serie A title with three games to spare. Fiorentina have plenty to fight for, but their struggling form gives little reason to feel optimistic ahead of the match with the high-flying Juventus.
Fiorentina feeling the heat
Viola were presented with a perfect opportunity to leapfrog Inter in fourth place in the standings and earn a much needed morale boost ahead of the Sunday’s match with bitter rivals Juventus, but Fiorentinla slumped to an away defeat to Udinese in a game that revealed plenty of problems for Paulo Sousa’a team. With just two wins in their last ten Serie A matches, Viola have underperformed to a great extent, failing to engage in the fight for European places. Still in frame for the top four places with only two points adrift of Inter, Sousa’s men now face a much more difficult test as they are about to play host to the in-form league leaders Juventus, unbeaten since October. The team atmosphere is only making things worse for Sousa, who has fallen out of favour with club’s management structures and whose relationship with players has significantly deteriorated. His selection choices have been questioned over the last couple of weeks and Fiorentina head coach is under a great deal of pressure. Speculations regarding Sousa’s future are gathering pace and Eusebio Di Franco has already been linked with Fiorentina job.
January signing Yohan Benalouane is injured and could not be given the chance to make his first-team debut. Matias Vecino is suffering from a muscle problem and his condition will be assessed prior to the game.
Three points to the trophy
Juventus are on course of yet another Serie A title and it seems that nothing can stop them now. The Old Lady continued with strong league performances during the week with a comprehensive 3-0 triumph over Lazio, thus leaving Napoli trailing by nine points in second place at the standings. Paulo Dybala extended his fantastic scoring run by bagging a brace to notch his 16th goal of the season and help his team dispatch the ten-man Lazio. Juventus are closing in on a fifth successive Serie A title and the game against Fiorentina on Sunday might seal the deal for the Old Lady as Napoli are due to visit Roma on Monday night and their potential loss could see Juventus officially retain the championship crown. Remembering that Juventus went off to a terrible start of the season with five points in six games only to make a stunning comeback and glide through to another Serie A title speaks volumes of this team’s strength and character. Max Allegri deserves praise for hard work he’s done with the Turin-based club, who had lost a couple of key players prior to the beginning of the campaign. But with Paul Pogba and Paulo Dybala proving their worth, Juventus have no reason to worry for their future.
Juventus head coach Allegri is pleased to be able to welcome Giorgio Chiellini and Roberto Pereyra back from their injuries. Both players practices with the rest of the team on Thursday and should be involved in a Sunday’s showdown. Alvaro Morata returns from suspension and he will also be at disposal.
Fiorentina are struggling with form, but with poor spirits as well. Paulo Sousa has seemingly lost the plot and the players are turning their back on him, which can be a major problem ahead of the high-profile match with bitter rivals Juventus. On the other side, the Old Lady are hugely motivated to record another Serie A win and sit back to enjoy the Monday game between Roma and Napoli that could give them plenty of reason for celebration.
Top pick: Away win 2.15 (23/20) @Bet365
Alternative pick 1: Juventus to win to nil 3.7 (27/10) @BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score – No 2.00 (1/1) @PaddyPower