A beautiful place. One of the most picturesque in all of Italy. A place of wonderful food, amazing history and probably the origin of a couple of postcards you’ve gotten from friends and family whenever they’ve traveled around Italy in those wonderful pre-pandemic days.
It’s the place where Juventus have had some good days that have involved blowout wins with Simone Padoin scoring a goal as the capper, but also a place where they’ve had some bad days thanks to Giuseppe Rossi. (Yeah, you better believe I ain’t gonna post a link to the bad side of the equation.)
With how turbulent this Juventus season has been, there’s just as good of a chance that today’s visit to the Franchi ends up as one of those bad days as it could be a good day. Fiorentina are a team that has struggled all season long and haven’t had much of any success in recent weeks, but they are one of the bottom-table teams who can boast about claiming a win against Juventus this year. That’s not good! And if you flip those points from the final game of 2020 from Fiorentina over to Juventus, then the Scudetto race starts to look a little different and maybe we’re not sweating potentially missing out on the Champions League like we currently are.
But that’s months in the past with obviously nothing to do about it now.
The only thing to focus on from now until the hours before Juve play the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta in a few weeks is that securing a Champions League spot is the only priority right now. That’s the way it has to be. Forget all of the outside noise, all of the potential things to take attention away from what’s going on on the field, everything else. Juventus need a top four finish, and while that’s not what we all hoped would be the case or the situation when they hit this portion of the schedule at the beginning, it’s their reality now.
So when you face a team like Fiorentina that has struggled for most of the season, the only option is win and hopefully win by a comfortable amount of goals.
Easier said than done — especially with this Juventus team — but certainly not all that difficult to figure out with so few games to go in the 2020-21 season.
When: Sunday, April 25, 2021
Where: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy
Official kickoff time: 3 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 2 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 9 a.m. Eastern Time; 6 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (3-5-2): Szczesny; de Ligt, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, Ramsey, Bentancur, Rabiot, Alex Sandro; Ronaldo, Dybala
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Danilo, Frabotta, Arthur, McKennie, Bernardeschi, Kulusevski, Morata, Felix Correia
Fiorentina starting XI (3-5-2): Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Caceres; Venuti, Amrabat, Pulgar, Castrovilli, Igor; Vlahovic, Ribery
HOW TO WATCH
Television: TLN (Canada); FreeSportsTV UK (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Serie A, Sky Sport 251 (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Sky Go Italia (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.