Fiorentina v Juventus – Stadio Artemio Franchi at 17:00 live at Eleven Sports
Fiorentina welcome Juventus to Florence on Saturday evening, and whilst not a derby of-sorts, the development of conspiracy theories, bitterness and accusations of ‘thievery’ over the last decades of the 20th century has ensured there’s no love lost between the two famous Italian clubs.
The rivalry has been fuelled by their controversial contests in cup finals, and competition in the transfer market. It means when the two teams lock horns – particularly in Florence – the atmosphere is highly-charged, and often boils over. This is the match that Fiorentina daren’t not lose.
Nevertheless, La Viola have rarely gotten the better of the Bianconeri, particularly at their Stadio Artemio Franchi base. Since 1998, Fiorentina have only twice triumphed at home to Juventus, with the Old Lady running out victorious in seven of their most recent eight encounters anywhere.
League leaders worth supporting on Saturday
The visitors extended their lead atop Serie A to eight points last weekend, thanks to Napoli’s draw with rock-bottom Chievo. Max Allegri’s men made it 12 league wins from 13 as they saw off Spal with room to spare in Turin and the all-conquering guests look good value at 1.64 to extend their streak on Saturday.
The Bianconeri boast a remarkable 76% win ratio in Serie A under Allegri, which includes an impressive W54-D15-L13 on their travels. Since the start of last season, Juventus have won eight of their 11 trips to top-half teams, scoring at least twice on five occasions and silencing seven of their 11 hosts.
Fiorentina are winless since September have churned out a fifth successive stalemate when being held to a goalless draw at Bologna last time out. Stefano Pioli’s men have fallen short in all three of their meetings with top-six teams this term – admittedly all away – but the hosts won just once in six when welcoming the same standard of opposition last season, conceding 12 goals.
Onwards and upwards for Juventus
In midweek, Juventus overcame Valencia 1-0 at the Allianz Stadium to secure their spot in the Champions League knockout stages. Mario Mandzukic scored the only goal of the game, but the Old Lady created enough opportunities to secure a success by a wider margin in front of their home supporters.
With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paolo Dybala, Miralem Pjanic and Mandzukic all fit and available, the Bianconeri’s firepower is unrivaled at domestic level and should prove decisive when they make the journey to a fiery Florence this weekend.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Juventus -0.50 at 1.625
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.