Juventus vs Fiorentina

March 12, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Mere four days after Juventus enjoyed a 1-0 victory over their arch rivals in Serie A, the two sides meet again, this time in the first leg of the Europa League Last 16 stage tie. And while Fiorentina will be eager to get revenge on the Bianconeri, ending their run of six victories on the bounce and five straight wins to nil will be no easy task.

Conte set to rotate

Having all but secured the third successive Serie A title, Juventus have realised the main objective of re-establishing domestic domination, but the Bianconeri haven’t exactly impressed in other competitions entered. Despite being placed in a fairly easy Champions League group, they failed to qualify for the knockout stages, although they have become one of the main candidates for the Europa League trophy. And with the team also crashing out of Coppa Italia, all that’s left for Antonio Conte’s side is to finish the job in the league and try and win the title in Europa League. Following several slip-ups at the end of January, the Old Lady have been in stunning form of late, winning six straight matches and conceding just one goal in the process. And having already beaten Fiorentina in the league few days ago, Juventus are in a good position to do it all over again. Antonio Conte may be set to make some changes to the starting line-up, but with such a big strength in depth, the Bianconeri remain hot favourites to pour more misery on their bitter rivals.

Andrea Pirlo returns from domestic suspension, but Carlos Tevez will not be risked as he battles a knee injury. Daniel Osvaldo and Sebastian Giovinco look set to start up front.

Fiorentina in problems

After narrowly missing out on the final Champions League berth last term, Fiorentina had big ambitions for this season, but they haven’t quite managed to live up to the billing. Viola were not able to mount a serious top 3 challenge in Serie A, although they did well to reach the Coppa Italia final. Meanwhile, their Europa League campaign has been going according to plan, that is until they were pitted against league rivals Juventus. This is definitely not the right time to be facing the Bianconeri, not only because Antonio Conte’s charges are on top of their game, but also due to the fact Viola are nowhere near the desired form. It is perfectly clear that numerous injuries and suspensions have taken the wind out of their sails, as witnessed by the latest run of four matches without a win. And even if important midfielder Borja Valero returns for the Europa League game against Juventus, I seriously doubt Fiorentina can fare much better than in the weekend’s league match in Turin.

Borja Valero and Nenad Tomovic return from domestic suspension, but Giuseppe Rossi, Ahmed Hegazy and Ante Rebic remain on the sidelines.


Juventus have been absolutely brilliant of late and minor changes to the starting line-up are unlikely to change anything. And with Fiorentina not showing any signs of improvement, another win to nil for the Bianconeri appears on the cards.

Top pick: Juventus to win to nil   2.25 (5/4) @ SkyBet

Alternative pick 1: Juventus/Juventus   2.05 (21/20) @ Betfair

Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals   2.00 (1/1) @ Paddy Power

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