Things are pretty glum in the Fiorentina camp after an atrocious home defeat to Cagliari on Sunday, but the fans will demand a reaction against hated Juventus on Wednesday. It was the emphatic Coppa Italia home loss against the bianconeri that sent the Viola on their current skid, and this league rematch presents a great - if very difficult - opportunity for Vincenzo Montella and company to save their league season.
Of course, that two legged Coppa Italia semifinal began with a very different result for Fiorentina, a 1-2 victory precisely at the Juventus Stadium with Mohammed Salah the author of both goals. And Juventus have just been beaten by plucky Torino by the same scoreline. But, on the other hand, here's Soccerway's way of putting the Viola's chances into perspective. Yeah, that's right, that's Juventus' home form over the past several years of Serie A competition, and it is terrifying. To add to the gloom-fest from the Viola perspective, Juve could clinch the Scudetto (again) against Fiorentina Wednesday night. Even if the Viola has played Juventus what's felt like a million times over the past two seasons, that idea still hits where it hurts. So, whee.
Massimilano Allegri will be without Leonardo Bonucci and the injured Paul Pogba for this match, but expects to return Carlos Tevez to the starting lineup. Federico Bernardeschi and Micah Richards both return to the squad for Montella, but neither are likely to start in the forecasted Viola 3-5-2.
A win - or even a draw honestly - against the hated gobbi would do wonders for the morale and prospects for the end of the Serie A season. But it will require one of the best performances of the season. Here's to hoping that the team shows up tougher and quicker than what we've seen, and that we get a bit of that league joy that we've been so sorely missing! Forza viola!
Juventus (4-3-1-2): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, Padoin; Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio; Pereyra; Tevez, Morata
FIORENTINA (3-5-2): Neto; Savic, Gonzalo, Basanta; Joaquin, Mati, Badelj, Borja Valero, Alonso; Salah, Gomez