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Juventus vs Fiorentina: Preview

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The Viola need to shake off a surprising loss from last week and turn things around to get back to the top of the table.

ACF Fiorentina v Florentia - Women Serie A
Going to need a lot of this.
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Following a chaotic week, Fiorentina Femmenile jump back into action for the toughest fixture on the schedule: a trip to Turin to take on reigning champions Juventus. Over their past 5 league meetings, the Viola hold a W1 L4 record, although every game has been decided by a single goal.

The match will be played on Sunday, 11 October 2020, at 4:00 PM GMT/12:00 PM EST, at the Juventus Center in Turin. The forecast calls for about as perfect an autumn day as you can find: mostly clear but with some clouds and a temperature sitting around 13C/57F. It’ll be perfect.

Juventus

The loathsome Bianconere are at it again. They sit at the top of the standings with 4 (not entirely convincing) wins from 4 matches. Despite this apparent dominance, they’re yet to post a signature win; their best result is a 2-0 margin, and AC Milan is the only top-notch squad they’ve faced. That said, this is still the current Scudetto holder, so any type of result at their house would be a serious positive.

Manager Rita Guarino doesn’t have any absences to cope with, so her regular 4-3-3 won’t have any hiccups. After winning a 0-1 slugfest over AC Milan last week, we’re starting to get a better idea of what the reigning champions are all about this year. Despite the presence of superstars Cristiana Girelli, Barbara Bonansea, and Valentina Cernoia up front, this is a club that’s built its identity around the defense.

How to breach that defense will be Antonio Cincotta’s primary dilemma. The accepted approach for a game like this is to sit deep, pack the middle, and play on the counter. The Viola will need to stay very organized to get a result here. Despite the projected numerical advantage in central midfield, the shuttlers (likley Mascarello and Adami) will have to work really hard, supporting their fullbacks in defense while still gumming up the middle. If they succeed, Fiorentina could well take at least a point from this one.

Fiorentina

After slumping to a 1-3 defeat to Sassuolo to drop their first points of the season, Fiorentina dropped to 5th in the table with 9 points, even with Empoli and AC Milan on points but trailing on goal difference. Combined with the Tatianna Bonetti situation, the Viola have no shortage of obstacles overcome in this one. A win would go a long way towards answering a lot of questions that have flared up around this team of late.

Manager Antonio Cincotta has a bit of a selection crisis on his hands up front with Bonetti, Martina Piemont, and Sara Baldi all nixed. That means that Daniela Sabatino will carry the load up front, placing a major burden on the midfielders (paging Marta Mascarello) to get into goal scoring positions.

With the selection issues up front, expect Cincotta to line out a pretty conservative approach for this one. The Viola will likely play on the counter, enticing Juventus up the pitch and then looking to get runners into the channels (Fred Thøgersen up top?) before feeding Daniela Sabatino in the area. Up against a midfield that’s perhaps more functional than creative, using Claudia Neto’s dribbling ability could also prove vital.

Possible lineups

Caruso or Pedersen; Vigilucci or Zanoli
Made using Share My Tactics

How to watch

TV: Unlikely, which is a disgrace. Check the international television listings here.

Online: The official website should be streaming this one on their brand new site.

Ted’s Memorial Blind Guess Department

Given Fiorentina’s issues up front, it’s likely that the Viola will try to sit deep, soak up pressure, and hit on the counterattack. The problem, of course, is that Juve are just an absurdly good team. While we love this edition of Fiorentina Femminile, the circumstances make us want to say that a 1-1 draw would feel like a really good result, with a Girelli strike canceling out a Sabatino effort on the counter as the hosts dominate the game but come away somewhat frustrated with just a point.

Forza Viola!