The Stadio Artemio Franchi is the place to be on the first Wednesday night in March.
There is a very good reason why.
And it’s just because Juventus has come to town. It’s also because of who Juventus has brought with them to town. You know, a guy who was wearing a Fiorentina jersey all of about five weeks ago. Yeah, that guy. The big guy who now wears No. 7 at Juventus.
This is Dusan Vlahovic’s much-anticipated comeback to Florence after his very, very quick and sudden move to Juventus during the January transfer window. It is a night that, if the schedule were to have stayed the same, would have come in May toward the end of the Serie A season rather than now, on the second day of March. But Fiorentina went out and stunned a whole lot of folks and upset Atalanta in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals a couple of weeks ago, thus creating this earlier-than-expected return to Florence for Vlahovic, Juve’s new star man and face of the club.
See? There’s a reason why the Franchi will be packed to every bit of the 75 percent stadium capacity limits that it can be on this night.
It’s not just Juventus coming to town — which always brings out an intense crowd and has emotions cranked up to 15 on a scale of 1 to 10. It’s going to be a combination of both Juventus, Juventus’ newest signing and where that signing last played before leaving for Turin.
This is the recipe for quite a night, adding plenty spice to a Coppa Italia fixture and stage in the game where your interest always goes up a little more than the earlier rounds when Juventus has to usually fend off mid-table or potential relegation battlers.
And just imagine what the Franchi will be like if Vlahovic scores? Hopefully we get to find out in relatively quick order.
When: Wednesday, March 2, 2022.
Where: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy.
Official kickoff time: 9 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe, 8 p.m. in the United Kingdom, 3 p.m. Eastern Time, 12 p.m. Pacific Time.
Juventus starting XI (3-5-2): Perin; Danilo, de Ligt, De Sciglio; Aké, Locatelli, Arthur, Rabiot, Pellegrini; Kean, Vlahovic.
Juventus bench: Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Cuadrado, Bonucci, Stramaccioni, Miretti, Morata, Soulé.
Fiorentina starting XI (4-3-3): Terracciano; Odriozola, Milenkovic, Igor, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Torreira, Castrovilli; Ikone, Piatek, Saponara.
HOW TO WATCH
Television: CBS Sports Network (United States); Premier Sports 1 (United Kingdom); Canale 5 (Italy).
Online/mobile: Paramount+ (United States); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); Mediaset Infinity (Italy).
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