Friday, October 05, 2007

Italy: Serie A Weekend Preview

Fiorentina – Juventus

The match of week seven sees second-placed Juventus travel to Florence to meet third-placed Fiorentina. The atmosphere in the Artemio Franchi is sure to be a hostile one as these two teams have never hidden their hatred for one another.

The bitterness really originates in the 1981-82 season. Both teams went into the final day of the campaign level on points at the top. Fiorentina could only manage a goalless draw at Cagliari after having a seemingly perfectly good goal disallowed, while Juventus were awarded a debatable penalty at Catanzaro, which Liam Brady converted to give them a 1-0 victory.

The Viola fans have always regarded this as a ‘stolen’ Scudetto and relations between the clubs got worse in 1990 when Roberto Baggio moved from Fiorentina to Juventus. There are a number of other sub-plots to the game. Adrian Mutu and Christian Vieri are former Bianconeri players and will be keen to impress while Juventus Coach Claudio Ranieri and left-back Giorgio Chiellini have past links with Fiorentina.

Clashes between Fiorentina and Juventus usually produce a lot of goals and one memorable match in the past was the 3-3 draw in 2001 when Enrico Chiesa scored two screamers for the Gigliati.

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