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Juventus take on evil Viola

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What a black spot Fiorentina are for Calcio. After going bankrupt, the team somehow skipped playing in Serie C1 in the strange "Caso Catania." Once they returned to Serie A, the nonsense didn't stop. The management rigged a crucial Lecce-Parma game in 2004-2005 that saved the team from dropping back to Serie B. In the wake of Calciopoli, they were sent to Serie B with a 12 point penalty for rigging the sport, with the Della Valle brothers given 5-year bans. It's up to la Vecchia Signora to uphold the dignity of Italian Calcio this Saturday when Fiorentina travels to Turin. Full preview after the jump.

adpgamberini

The above comments, of course, were largely in jest, but perhaps can be described as a bitter reaction to Sebastian Frey and Adrian Mutu's comments earlier this week. Kudos to Tomas and Alex W of the Fiorentina Offside for recognizing the hypocrisy of this...and Adrian Mutu was even playing for us back then! Perhaps this was just a blatant appeal to the Viola fans, an easy way to slam Juventus. (I hate Ibra with a passion, but I'll give him credit for always saying that he won the 04-06 Scudetti on the pitch. Not easy to do that when you are the Inter talisman) Simply put- In Calcio, no one has the moral high ground. Not in Italy.

SOCCER-ITALY/
Why does no one pass to me? The hell with this, I'm switching teams.

RECENT ENCOUNTERS:
Mixed. On our return from Calcio hell, we drew in Florence 1-1 thanks to a non-penalty awarded against Legrottaglie in the dying minutes of the game, the start of the farce that was Serie A 2007-2008. We then lost in a crappy, crappy game 3-2 at home with Sissoko and Nedved scoring, and then Prandelli outsubbing Ranieri. I believe that kid named Osvaldo scored, but who knows, he's fallen off the face of the earth. Last season, I may have jinxed the squad by calling another 1-1 draw in Florence, this time it happened after Grygera scored and a good Gilardino goal at the death. Then in Turin, a controversy-filled match ensued as a brilliant Del Piero pass to Marchisio was enough to win the points, Marchisio's first professional goal ever. So we're looking at DLDW. Not the greatest of records.


That oh so glorious day...

CONNECTIONS:
-Prandelli doesn't count anymore, as in an interview to placate Fiorentina fans, he declared "My heart is more Fiorentino than Juventino." Congrats, but I suppose a mediocre player would choose a mediocre club to coach at.
-Secco is, believe it or not, an "independent contractor" for Fiorentina. Having handed them Mutu and Balzaretti a few years ago, he decided to personally fill their mercato again this summer by handing them Zanetti and Marchionni for a total sum of 6million euro.
-Zanetti, of course, has returned to his hometown to finish out his career. I have no hard feelings for him, I always liked him as a player and I've though he's massively underrated.
-Marchionni does battle with his ex-team, having reunited with Prandelli this summer to salvage his once-promising career. Again, no hard feelings for Marchionni. He was a good backup for Camoranesi but unneeded in the current formation. I hope they both have good seasons with Fiorentina, just not tomorrow.
-Felipe Melo will be making his first appearance ever against the Viola, having signed with the Bianconeri for 24.5million this summer. Is he worth that much? No. Is he good? Yes. Will I kill him if he loses the ball right outside of the 18' again? Yes.
-Gilardino, who I don't particularly care for, is well-known as a Juventino. Milan, Parma, Fiorentina, now he's just gotta play for Inter and Roma and he'll be all set.
-My Dad lived in Florence for 2 years. I'm sure you all were dying to know that. He says it's a nice city, aside from the tourists, which is the same conclusion I came to 30 years later.

ITALY SOCCER SERIE A
Bad. Ass.

RECENT FORM:
Juventus- (LDDDW) Not good. Hopefully the international break does a reverse under Ferrara's regime than Ranieri's.
Fiorentina- (DWWWL) Better. They were unlucky to draw against Lazio, and we all know their famous scalp of the Huns.

FORMATIONS AND LINEUPS:
Juventus: (4-3-1-2) Some have suggested with Marchisio out, we should do a 4-2-3-1 with Sissoko and Melo anchoring the defense. That's not a bad idea, and believe me I want to see Giovinco play, but we still need to learn the 4-3-1-2, it's our future and we haven't mastered it yet.

In goal, we have the best goalkeeper in the world, who doesn't commit horrible gaffes for his national team and then get not more callups.

In defense, except ItalJuve, with the right-back spot as always, an enigma. Will Grygera be chosen for his defensive abilities? Will Zebina learn to track back? Will Caceres be given a shot over the two mediocre older vets? I'm guessing Zebina gets the nod. Ferrara seems to be cycling through, I don't think he's decided yet who is the full-time starter. If we could combine Zebina's offense, Grygera's defense, and Caceres age...we'd have a good right-back.

Midfield is tricky. The boy wonder is out with knee surgery, unfortunately he won't get to demonstrate how much he's grown and how Montolivo is still "a promising player." Beast is expected to make his long-awaited return to Calcio, against the side he scored his first goal against back in 2008. Felipe Melo shrugged off an injury over the international break and may play. Camoranesi should be raring to return. Perhaps even De Ceglie plays in a midfield role as he did for the Azzurrini.

In attack, it seems clear that Diego will be at trequartista, probably supporting Iaquinta-Trezeguet. I worry if Sissoko and Melo both play, that yet again there will be a huge burden on Diego to produce for the front-two men, but what's the alternative? ADP is still out, and Amauri isn't doing shit, even if he's more creative than the other two.

Fiorentina- Shamelessly ripped from Tim over at the Fiorentina blog. "Fiorentina: Here are the guys making the trip: Avramov, Castillo, Comotto, Dainelli, De Silvestri, Donadel, Frey, Gamberini, Gilardino, Gobbi, Jovetic, Marchionni, Montolivo, Mutu, Natali, Pasqual, Santana, Seculin, Vargas e Zanetti. I think its time for Cesare to play all 3 of Jo-Jo, Mutu and Gila Monster from the start. So that means maybe tomorrow the game will begin with more of a 4-3-1-2. I think that at least 1 of those guys (Mutu and maybe Gila) won’t have 90 minutes in him, so Marchionni will come on and the tactical set up will switch to the 4-2-3-1.

Bassy; Pasqual, Gamberini, Dainelli, Comotto; Vargas, Zanetti, RickyMonty; Jo-Jo; Mutu, Gila Monster. "

Also, give his Juventus area a read. It's quite entertaining, and he, like me, has put in a fair amount of jibes. As always, and especially should you decide to chat on another Offside page, reasoned discussion > trolling.

KEY PLAYERS:
Diego- His progression has kind of mirrored Juve's this season. Great start, then the honeymoon period ended. We're really gonna need him to produce.
Weird Al Jovetic- A nickname shamelessly ripped off of the Palermo Offside. He's good, very good, and he's a living case of why Giovinco needs an extended run out in the team regardless of how shit he might be.

KEY BATTLES:
Juventus Midfield v. Vegas- If we play Sissoko-Melo in midfield, the odds on a red card are going to be low. Odds on at least a yellow are not even being discussed, because it's a given.
ItalJuve v. Tuffo/Gypsy- Can we contain them? I think so. A bit up the field Melo is going to have his hands full of Jovetic.
Iaquinta v. Gamberini- Gamberini didn't have the greatest of games against Cyprus, but he contained Torres very well. Iaquinta will cause him a big headache though.
Alberto Aquilani v. Riccardo Montolivo- Which one is more overrated? My money is on Montolivo. Grow up.

Other previews and predictions:
Football Italia
Football Italiano (Who starts his article much as I do...only he goes further in attacking the Viola)
Goal.com (US)
It's going to be a even-sided match, and a low-scoring match, but I think Juventus are going to prevail by a 1-goal margin.

[From Juventus.com...] Juventus-Fiorentina: a bit of history

Juventus and Fiorentina played 7 championship matches in the month of October. If history does repeat itself, the match on Saturday should be one rich in goals. The series shows the great reception and spectacle such an encounter has always generated.

The first dates back to 1939 and a final 3-2 result in favour of Juventus with goals at the start and the end by Bellini ( and as a confirmation to tradition after 10 minutes the score was already 2-1!).

In 1946, Fiorentina ended the first half in advantage y 1-0. This was totally turned around in the second half with the goal by Sentimenti III and two gaols by Candiani for a final 3-1 score.

In 1955, the viola won by 4-0 in Turin. This was no coincidence as it was in the season of their first championship title while Juventus ended in the middle of the table.

In 1963 it was a South American style draw. The home team scored thanks to Nenè while the Tuscans equalized thanks to Maschio.

Victories rich in goals were back in 1975. The final 4-2 saw the goals by Gori, Causio (twice) and Anastasi for the bainconeri. The goal scored by Anastasi was his last in a series of 131 goals scored for Juventus.

The 5-1 final result on the 23rd of October 1977, spelt crisis for Carmignani, former Juventus goalkeeper at the time playing for Fiorentina, who was totally confused after he suffered a goal scored by Boninsegna following a distraction after a goal-kick. Within 8 minutes, Tardelli and an own goal by Della Martira made the score 3-0. In the second half, it was the turn of substitute Giovanni Galli to suffer goals by Causio and Benetti, within 5 minutes. It was however the match which would see him become the first goalkeeper that season.

Finally, the great excitement of the 5th of October 1997. The match is in the hands of the viola up to 10 minutes from the final whistle, due to the own goal by Pessotto. Towards the end of the match, Inzaghi and Del Piero turned round the result giving Lippi’s Juve another win after a comeback, which was less exciting then the famous 3-2 by Vialli and Del Piero but as important.

Ferrara: «Forgetting Palermo»

During the press conference on the eve of the match against Fiorentina, to be played tomorrow at the Olimpico at 18:00hrs, Ferrara addressed a press conference, touching on various subjects.

Forgetting Palermo – It is a match which we must not take into consideration, because for most of the match we were not the real Juventus. Yesterday I saw all the lads, we spoke and put it aside. We do so even when we win, trying to improve and understand where we made a mistake to get back to being the Juventus of the start of the season with that spirit, determination and humility in the right doses to play against our opponents. Tomorrow it will be a totally different match because such matches are very stimulating and because we want to forget about the ugly performance against Palermo.

The real Juventus – It is surely not the one seen in Palermo, perhaps not even the one in Rome. The championship is long and every match gives different verdicts. I remain convinced that Juventus is not the team we saw in Palermo but very close to the one in Rome in spirit and the intensity shown in that match. I must say that in these 15 years, while maintaining the same characteristics, Juventus sometimes had a bad match. I lived them and I know what I am saying, but these moments come and there is an immediate comeback.

The internationals – They returned in good physical and mental conditions, also due to the results. The only one who did not play was Grygera, besides Tiago who was injured. The difficulty in these periods is obviously that we cannot train together but with the players who stayed behind we had a series of very serious training sessions.

Sissoko – he has been called-up. We’ll have to wait and see how to use him from tomorrow onwards. The important thing is that he has recovered, however a player who has been out for 6 months cannot withstand 90 minutes, from a physical and condition point of view. A case of emergency in midfield? Yes, but luckily we have recovered a player. The players absent are Tiago, Salihamidzic and Marchisio but compared to a week ago we are in a lesser state of emergency.

Buffon – We already knew of his knee problem. Now or then we will have to intervene. The important thing is that today he has no problems and can play. Then we will deal with his absence.

The strong points of the opponents – Fiorentina only conceded four goals but its the team’s organization that allows the defence to take only a few risks, thanks to Prandelli, a coach who I admire very much. They are clever on the wings, work a lot on ball possession and Vargas is very clever when it comes to one on one and crossing to the attackers. Gilardino knows how to take advantage and this could also be seen with the national team. We must try to constrain them.

Diego – A lot is being expected from him due to the performances shown in the first match days. I try to take away this huge pressure that he is being put under.

Trezeguet: «We want a comeback»

David Trezeguet was supposed to take part in Filo Diretto today on Juventus Channel, but something came up which stopped him from doing so. The striker however, spoke on Juventus Channel to excuse himself with the supporters and postpone the appointment by a week: «Something came up which stopped me from keeping my appointment with our supporters – explained David – but i promise that I will be there next Thursday to speak to them».

David also took the opportunity to speak of the next match against Fiorentina: «For us it will be a very important match because we are coming from a heavy defeat against Palermo and we want to get back to victory. The time we had to prepare for the match was little because only today did we have back our colleagues who were busy in the international matches, but we have the right motivation to play a great match and show everybody that we are an important team».

The defeat in Palermo left everybody with a sour taste but seeing the start of the season by Juventus, Trezeguet could not but underline the positive aspects: «We had a good period notwithstanding the draws and the defeat. We are still close to the top of the table and we played well in the Champions League. The team spirit is positive and we are working to get back to our best playing form. We lost a few players due to injury but we will have other important returns. We want to get back to winning and to doing well and I believe that we will play an excellent match against Fiorentina».

On a personal level, David is going through a good moment: «I am well. I had the possibility for working well this week. The coach will decide and I am available. The most important thing is that I feel well both physically and mentally. I hope that, together with my team mates, I will be able to give the supporters the victory which have been awaiting for a long time and I hope I can score and contribute as I did up to now».

The last thought is dedicated to the French national team, which will be busy with the play-offs to qualify for the World Cup and which might be in need of the excellent sense of scoring of David: «I said I am available because now there are the play-offs and they will be two very important matches and if the coach thinks that I could be useful to the team I would be glad. Surely in the last two matches against Faroe Islands and Austria, France showed it has very strong attackers, therefore if I can contribute so be it, otherwise I will continue to do my utmost for my team which after all interests me the most».

Final Word(s):

I VIOLA STANNO FALLENDO
E CECCHI GORI CHE COSA FA
SI TIRA LA COCAINA
E LA MARINI SI VUOL SCOPAR
OH FIORENTINO
CHE DELUSIONE,RETROCESSIONE
COL PISA TU GIOCHERAI

Che grande gioia ogni mattina
pulirsi il culo con la sciarpa fiorentina
di zeffirelli e di pontello
usiam le foto per pulirci anche l'uccello
e da Torino anche stavolta
voi ve ne andrete solamente con la scorta
con le parole siete leoni
ma fate sempre la figura dei coglioni
e viola merda viola viola merda
e viola merda viola viola merda!!!

Un solo grido
un solo allarme
firenze in fiamme
firenze in fiamme!!

Ma quale A?
ma quale B?
la fiorentina in serie C!!!

Viola di merda
Sei solo un Viola di merda
Viola di merda
Sei solo un Viola di merda

Quella curva di conigli
che sognava il tricolor,
nuovi acquisti per l'Europa,
cantavate Bati-gol.
Cecchi Gori e Aldo Agroppi
sono i vostri nuovi eroi,
tutta Italia ha goduto,
ma nessuno come noi.
Eravate quasi salvi
Desideri poi segnò
siete andati in serie B
noi non ci crediamo ancor!
Scappa scappa fiorentino,
anche a Monza in serie B
Noi abbiamo vinto tutto,
ma goduto mai così!
Viola merda alè alè,
Viola merda alè alè...