The Stadio Artemio Franchi has been a place that has brought mixed results for Juventus ever since this here blog became a regular on the SB Nation platform. Some visits to Florence have been quite good and involved Andrea Pirlo and Simone Padoin scoring goals in the same game. (Don’t get to see that sentence too often do you?) Others haven’t been anywhere close to bringing forth happy thoughts and feelings, so I won’t go ahead and remind you of those.
Guess where Juventus will be playing their ball this evening?
Yep, you guessed it. Although I’m sure the headline kinda gave it away.
Juventus heads to the Franchi just a little over a year after one of their few league losses under Max Allegri’s watch took place. This time around, Juventus is coming off a 7-0 beatdown against Sassuolo where a somewhat slumping Bianconeri offense that saw all sorts of injuries arrive in the week before the game bust out in a big-time kind of way.
Now we get to see what Juve’s attack has in store this time around against a Fiorentina side that up until recently hadn’t had much of any success against Serie A opposition.
But that’s not all...
We get to see Federico Bernardeschi, once the homegrown boy wonder who worked his way up Fiorentina’s youth ranks before starring in Serie A, make his first appearance at the Franchi as a Juventus player.
We get to see Gonzalo Higuain, who just a couple of weeks was in one of his worst goal scoring funks since coming to Juventus, look to keep his newfound hot streak going after bagging his first-ever hat trick in bianconero in the win over Sassuolo.
And, maybe most important of all, we get to see Juventus try and put together another quality performance that results in three points as we await Harry Kane and Tottenham’s arrival in Turin for the first leg of the Champions League Round of 16 tie next Tuesday night at Allianz Stadium.
So, I guess what I’m trying to say is this: If you thought that this was just going to be a low-key kind of game before a massive European matchup, you want want to reassess things. No matter what kind of form Fiorentina are in at the current time, this is one of the games that they get up for the most.
And you know that La Viola would love nothing more than to put a dent in Juve’s Scudetto chances — especially if it’s going to come in front of their home fans in Florence.
Location: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy
Kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Marchisio; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Mandzukic
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, De Sciglio, Barzagli, Rugani, Asamoah, Sturaro, Bentancur, Douglas Costa
Fiorentina starting XI (4-3-3): Sportiello; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Astori, Biraghi; Benassi, Badelj, Veretout; Gil Dias, Simeone, Chiesa
Fiorentina bench: TBA
TV: beIN SPORTS USA, Rai Italia America (United States); beIN Sports Canada, Rai Italia America (Canada); BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); PremiumSport HD, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)
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