The last time these two sides faced each other, the Serie A champions-elect weren't the better side. In fact, Fiorentina took the game to Juventus in Turin in a way that few opponents have this season. Mohammed Salah was the inspiration and the decider, certainly, with his two goals proving the difference, but the little Egyptian's heroics shouldn't obscure a team performance that limited Juve to few chances at home, while the Viola also hit the post and forced some smart saves from Marco Storari.
Now Fiorentina will have to bring their best play again for the return leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal. Vincenzo Montella will likely name his preferred starting eleven from March if Stefan Savic can pass fit, with Joaquin scampering along his left wing and either Manuel Pasqual or Marcos Alonso running the left side. In midfield, expect Matias Fernandez and Milan Badelj to be certain starters ahead of Borja Valero given recent form, with David Pizarro the third cog pending fitness. Up front Mohamed Salah is sure of his place, likely behind Mario Gomez, although there are whispers that the fresher Khouma Babacar may get the start.
Massimiliano Allegri has to contend with several key absences in Juve's trip to Florence, most notably the injuries in midfield to Paul "€100 million" Pogba and Andrea Pirlo. Allegra has also revealed that he will play a back four instead of a back 3, in quite bizarre terms: "Last time Montella knew I was going to play a back 3, this time I want to give him another little advantage" [someone tell Max he is currently behind in this tie, and, while they're at it, remind him how rubbish his Milan was]. So it will likely be a 4-3-1-2, with Roberto Pereyra behind Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata.
It's hard to overestimate how big this game is, for this team and for Florence. Let's keep it together boys, and go get our revenge in the Coppa Italia Final!!
FIORENTINA (3-5-2): NETO; SAVIC, GONZALO, BASANTA; JOAQUIN, BADELJ, PIZARRO, MATI, PASQUAL; SALAH, GOMEZ
Juventus (4-3-1-2): Storari; Lichsteiner, Barzagli, Chiellini, Evra; Vidal, Marchisio, Sturaro; Pereyra; Tevez, Morata