Juventus V Fiorentina, Serie A, Allianz Stadium, 20th September 2017
Juventus host Fiorentina in Turin on Wednesday night seeking to make it five wins from five in Serie A, and they do so boasting an impeccable home record so far this season after securing 3-0 wins over both Cagliari and Chievo at the Allianz Stadium.
Fiorentina, meanwhile, have won two and lost two of their league games to date, but that represents a decent return considering they began the campaign with two defeats, a new coach, and a new-look squad. Indeed, La Viola are showing signs of life under new coach Stefano Pioli, although a trip to the perennial Italian champions and reigning title-holders is perhaps not a proposition the team will be relishing so early in its development. With no less than 20 players arriving in the summer, it’s a small miracle that Pioli has been able to mesh together a competitive outfit, especially considering the calibre of player the club haemorrhaged in the summer: Borja Valero, Matías Vecino, Nikola Kalinić and Josip Iličić just some of the notable departures. Yet it is the loss of Federico Bernardeschi, to Juve no less, that has left the biggest hole in the Florence team, and it was that which was exposed the most in their opening round 3-0 defeat in the San Siro against Inter. That defeat was compounded by the fact it was instigated by two former players in the shape of Valero and Vecino.
On the flip side, Giovanni Simeone and Marco Benassi are just two of the new arrivals who have contributed positively in the early weeks of their Fiorentina careers, and back-to-back wins against Hellas Verona and Bologna have seen the flowering of some self-belief in this young side.
The story for Juve, domestically at least, has been the sensational goalscoring form of Paulo Dybala who has eight goals in four games, has scored in each of his four Serie A appearances to date, and has two hattricks to his name. He also got two in Juve’s Supercoppa defeat to Lazio, making it ten in five in Italian competition for the Argentine. As well as that early setback in the opening showpiece, Juventus were comprehensively outplayed by Barcelona in their only Champions League group game to date, going down 3-0 in Catalonia, but at home they remain kings, and it is highly unlikely Fiorentina will put a stop to their perfect start.
Head-to-head, Fiorentina haven’t won in the league at Juventus since a 3-2 win in 2008, although they did secure a Coppa Italia victory in 2015. Fiorentina actually won the last game played between these two, in Florence back in January. Tellingly, of the 14 players that featured for the home side that day, eight players have moved on, including one of the goalscorers in Kalinić.
The match result market requires some creativity due to Juventus being such shorts odds favourites (as low as 1.33 with some bookmakers). Therefore backing Juventus -1 offers more value at as high as 2.00 with a number of different bookmakers.
Paulo Dybala can be backed at quite decent odds of 1.93 with Unibet, 32Red and 88sport, and considering his incredible goalscoring exploits so far this term, that represents value.
Finally, selecting ‘No’ on Both teams to Score (therefore suggesting Fiorentina will fail to score at Juventus Stadium) is 2.00 with PaddyPower. The last five meetings between these two sides have featured both teams scoring, but the evidence to suggest this will not happen again this time is impressive. Juventus have yet to concede at home so far this season, Fiorentina were kept scoreless in their away game against the best side they have faced so far in Inter, and La Viola’s best performer of recent times, Bernadeschi, is now a Juventus player.
An uphill struggle awaits Fiorentina this midweek as they head to Turin to take on the mighty Dybala and Co.