Juventus vs Fiorentina
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Saturday, 20 August 2016,
Kick-Off: 19:45 UK,
Venue: Juventus Stadium (Turin).
Juventus start the defense of the Serie A title with a home game against Fiorentina on Saturday evening.
The Old Lady were confirmed as the Serie A champions for the fifth consecutive last well before the final matchday last season. The success was built on a ridiculously long unbeaten run of 26 matches. They were also on a 15 match winning streak at one point.
Going into the 2016/17 season, Massimiliano Allegri has snapped up some exciting talents. Gonzalo Higuain scored 36 goals for Napoli last season and he is a welcome addition to bolster the attacking department. While Miralem Pjanic could add some flair and creativity in midfield which could cover the loss of Paul Pogba to Manchester United. The experienced Dani Alves captured on a free transfer and the Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia on a free transfer will strengthen their already stable defense.
Fiorentina were fifth in last season’s Serie A standings largely due to their inconsistent display midway through the season. Moreover, their away record in 2015/16 season has been pretty ordinary and managed just 26 points from the 19 games.
Paulo Sousa is in his second season as the head-coach of Viola and the lack of enough re-enforcements in the squad could cost them dearly this season. Critian Tello has been re-signed on a loan deal after covering for the Jakub Blaszczykowski last season. While the Croatian defender Hrvoje Milic, Colombian midfielder Carlos Sanchez and Argentinian midfielder Hernan Toledo are some exciting talents brought in this summer.
Juventus: Team News
Gonzalo Higuain is short on match fitness and this make way for Paulo Dybala to partner Mario Mandzukic in the attacking department.
While fellow new signings Dani Alves and Miralem Pjanic are expected to start with Medhi Benatia featuring on the bench.
Claudio Marchisio and Stefano Sturaro are injures, while Patrice Evra is yet to fully attain match fitness.
Juventus: Expected Starting Line-up (3-5-2)
Buffon – Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli – Sandro, Asamoah, Pjanic, Khedira, Alves – Dybala, Mandzukic.
Fiorentina: Team News
Borja Valero is a minor doubt for this fixture after picking up a knock in the friendly against Valencia last week. Josip Ilicic could start if the Spaniard doesn’t make the cut at the last moment.
Fiorentina: Expected Starting Line-up (3-4-1-2)
Tatarusanu – Astori, Rodriguez, Tomovic – Bernardeschi, Badelj, Vecino, Alonso – Ilicic – Zarate, Kalinic.
Juventus vs Fiorentina: Head-to-Head Stats
Juventus haven’t lost in a Serie A fixture at home to Fiorentina since March 2008, which stetches to 8 matches. But they had lost a Copa Italia match at Turin on March 2015.
The Old Lady are unbeaten in the last five league matches against Fiorentina with 4 wins and a draw.
The last five matches between Juventus and Fiorentina in all competition witnessed over 2.5 goals.
Juventus vs Fiorentina: Prediction
Juventus are nervy starters and were beaten at home by Udinese 1-0 last season. Fiorentina have won at Juventus only once in the last 18 trips, but there won’t be a better opportunity to break that jinx.
So I do believe this is a cagey affair and both teams will be looking to avoid a defeat. A 1-1 draw is a very likely outcome and to back the visitors on a double chance is a worthwhile investment, but an equally risky proposition.
Juventus vs Fiorentina: Tips
Double Chance – Fiorentina/Draw
Under 2.5 goals.