Fiorentina – Juventus
Even as they rampaged to 102 points in Serie A last season, Juventus still lost two league games. One of them was away to Fiorentina. Vincenzo Montella’s team rallied from two goals down to win 4-2 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, with the help of a hat-trick from Giuseppe Rossi. The striker will play no part this time around due to his knee injury, though he is expected to watch from the stands, having recently returned to Florence after a period of rehabilitation in the US.
Rossi will hope that his team-mate Mario Gomez can give him something to celebrate, after the German grabbed his first goal in eight and a half months last weekend. Fiorentina have won three in a row across all competitions, scoring eight times in the process, and can draw encouragement from Juve’s struggles against an inferior Torino team. It has also been mooted in the Italian press that the Bianconeri could rest one or two starters, including Carlos Tevez, with an eye on Tuesday’s Champions League game against Atlético Madrid.
An electric atmosphere is expected in Florence, where 100 fans showed up with fireworks at training on Thursday as they started to get into the mood. This is the fixture that matters most to the Viola, but the painful truth is that, without Rossi, the gulf between these two teams is clear.
Away win – 2.02