Juventus failed to capitalize on Inter Milan’s slip last week when Maurizio Sarri was haunted by ghosts of his past, being dealt a crushing loss by Napoli, destabilizing their momentum. It was the Bianconeri’s first loss of 2020 and they’ll be desperate to get back to winning ways at home to Fiorentina. The visitors are packed with rich, young attacking talent but been very inconsistent this season. But they pack enough venom to sting the league leaders, who’ll want to maintain a comfortable lead at the top with another compelling showing at home.
Story Behind The Game
Juventus were actually in a 5-match winning streak before suffering the crushing loss to Napoli. Cristiano Ronaldo might’ve scored for the 8th game running, but that defeat pin-pointed some deficiencies in the squad. Sarri will want to fix those issues and rejuvenate his side to go all guns blazing to rediscover the winning momentum.
Fiorentina have experienced topsy-turvy form since Giuseppe Iachini took over but they’ve only lost a single game in all competitions this year. They’re defensively much stronger and bombastic striding forward under new management, as Iachini hopes to unleash their A-game to take points from the fortress that is the Allianz Stadium.
The Bianconeri hold a very strong record against Fiorentina recently, as they’ve won 4 of the last 5 times these sides have faced off. However, they could only draw against the Viola earlier this season, proving that the opposition has extinguished that mental block of facing off against them.
Juventus had the chance to go six points clear at the top of the table with Inter dropping points to Cagliari last week, but failed to do so. Dropping points again could put their title ambitions in grave danger. They must get another big win to assert their dominance as title-favourites and redeem their failures of being unable to win or score against Fiorentina this season.
Fiorentina have been pretty impressive on the road this season, defeating both AC Milan & Napoli at their own yard. This time they’re looking for a bigger scalp. Lying in 13th place, they need a win to potentially move into top-half. However knowing the hosts' dominance, even one point will be gold and give the visitors enough momentum to continue their development under Iachini.
Juventus’ injury list is piled up right now, with Merih Demiral out for the season and Giorgio Chiellini still out for a while. Sami Khedira, Mattia de Sciglio and Danilo remain on the sidelines ruling them out for the game.
Fiorentina have their own injury issues with Franck Ribery still on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury a few months back. Gaetano Castrovilli’s also a doubt after suffering a knock in the last game.
Juventus XI: Szczesny, Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro, Rabiot, Pjanic, Matuidi, Ramsey, Dybala, Ronaldo
Fiorentina XI: Dragowski, Caceres, Milkenkovic, Pezzella, Lirola, Pulgar, Badelj, Benassi, Dalbert, Cutrone, Chiesa
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Nikola Milenkovic
Young Nikola Milenkovic put in a colossal performance to help Fiorentina be the first(and only) team to have kept a clean sheet against Juventus in Serie A this season. But this time he faces a Cristiano Ronaldo who cannot be stopped. CR7 is on an eight-match consecutive goal-scoring run and is playing like a man possessed once again. It’ll be a huge task for Milkenkovic to keep the Portuguese quiet at his own yard, as Ronaldo’s swift movement and devastating instincts will test the young defender’s ability like nothing else has this season.
Federico Chiesa vs Matthijs De Ligt
Matthijs De Ligt ended up crumbling under pressure against Napoli, playing a big role in conceding the second goal. It’s time to redeem his mistakes by keeping an unpredictable Fiorentina attack quiet on Sunday. He faces up against in-form Federico Chiesa, who’s relishing under his forward role this time around. The Italian’s ability to pop into promising positions, exquisite work with the ball is capable of running rings around the best. De Ligt must prove his ability by stamping his authority and nullifying his threat in order to grant his side a big advantage over the visitors.