Thursday, March 20, 2014

Fiorentina-Juventus Preview: Third time lucky for Viola?

Juventus' Arturo Vidal.

Fiorentina will be hoping for a case of third time lucky when they host Juventus in the Europa League last 16 on Thursday.

This week's clash will conclude a hat-trick of meetings between the sides in less than a fortnight, with Juventus taking the spoils in the opening Serie A encounter before a 1-1 draw in Turin last Thursday put Fiorentina in the driving seat in Europe.

Arturo Vidal gave Juve the lead in the third minute of the first-leg clash, but Mario Gomez found the net 11 minutes from time to give the Viola the away-goal advantage.

However, promisingly for coach Antonio Conte, Juve have only failed to progress once when taking a 1-1 scoreline into the second leg of a European tie.

And the Turin outfit will be especially keen to make it through this season, with Juventus Stadium set to host the competition's final.

Conte's men sit top of Serie A and are on an 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions, but lost 4-2 when they played at Stadio Artemio Franchi in the league earlier this season - a result that remains Juve's only top-flight defeat of the campaign.

Andrea Barzagli (calf) is a doubt for Juve after pulling out of Sunday's 1-0 win at Genoa, while fellow defender Federico Peluso (thigh) is also likely to miss out. But striker Carlos Tevez has returned to training this week and could be in line for a start.

Fiorentina-Juventus Preview: Third time lucky for Viola? Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown

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