Last Friday night saw last year's scudetto winners Juventus register a 2-0 win away to Lazio. This was their fifth win out of five matches that has seen them striding up the Serie A table after an extremely poor start to the campaign. They now sit just five points behind the viola, making this Sunday's fixture at the Juventus stadium of monumental importance for Fiorentina - a genuine "six pointer."
This would be significant enough on its own, however for the gigliati, even a solitary goal against the Bianconeri will see them break a record, making 23 consecutive scoring matches. The last time a Florentine side achieved this feat was in the 1997-98 season when Gabriel Batistuta and Luis Olivera contributed 35 goals between them.
Eighteen years later, La Viola have scored in every game since their disappointing 3-1 home defeat to Cagliari in April last year. The last seven games under Vincenzo Montella's leadership yielded 15 goals in total, as Fiorentina finished fourth in Serie A for the third season in a row.
The new season under Paulo Sousa has carried on in the same vein, albeit with a more ruthless style of play and more success in the league table so far. His first fifteen league games in charge have yielded 30 goals in total, ten more than at the same stage last season.
Summer signing Nikola Kalinić and a vastly rejuvenated Josip Iličić have provided just under half of the tally, with 9 and 5 respectively. However, just as in 2014-15 there have been an abundance of goalscorers, the campaign ending with 21 individual players finding different players who found the net in Serie A. That included central defender Gonzalo Rodríguez, the 31 year old weighing in with a career high of seven goals.
Fiorentina remain a team with an array of attacking options, their total of eleven men on the scoresheet so far is second only to AS Roma's 12. In addition to the Kalinić-Iličić duo firing on all cylinders, La Viola are joint top of the Serie A scoring chart, sitting alongside the Giallorossi with 30 goals each, although Roma have conceded eighteen compared to the twelve allowed by Sousa's men.
35 - Babacar has scored a goal every 35 touches, record among Serie A player with 2+ goals this season. Sniper. pic.twitter.com/OAQnlzrLq8— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 4, 2015
Even Khouma Babacar, who has seen relatively little game time, has scored the most goals per number of touches in the league this season as highlighted in the above graphic.
An in-form Juventus side will provide a true test of La Viola's potent strike force on Sunday. With the added incentive of breaking the aforementioned goalscoring record set by a team including Gabriel Batistuta - the desire to keep some distance in the table from the ever-advancing Bianconeri - there is no reason to assume that Fiorentina won't go all out for the victory.