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Juventus remain perfect after four Serie A matches. But do Fiorentina have an advantage going into Tuesday's game?
Will Fiorentina be the toughest test thus far in Serie A for Juventus? The Old Lady have faced a Giovinco-less Parma, a Brkic red card at Udinese, a penalty at Genoa, and, well, Chievo Verona. The Viola we've seen this season is undoubtedly stronger than any of these previous opponents (sorry, Udinese supporters).
But "stronger" and "strong enough to take points from Juventus" are not synonymous. Fiorentina failed to find answers against a Napoli side that could have been beaten. A normally perfect Stefan Jovetić missed from the spot against Parma, leaving his side resigned to just one point. The Viola are fun, certainly, but they're not so fantastic that a victory wouldn't be considered an upset.
Fiorentina have scheduling in their favor, however. Antonio Conte and his many henchmen will be looking ahead to Saturday's match at AS Roma, which is followed by the Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk. It's possible that Juventus will concentrate on those matches, playing some of their bench players in Florence.
Alas, Juve has what is likely the deepest bench in Serie A. Fabio Quagliarella? He's probably considered a bench player. He scored against Chelsea and then bagged a brace against Chievo. In general, most of those waiting in the wings at Juventus are good enough to start on other Serie A sides.
So what might be the extra-special secret ingredient that could allow Fiorentina to bring down the perfect Juventus? It's not Jovetić , the return of Adem Ljajić or the skill of David Pizarro. No, it's a sense of revenge fueled by moral superiority. Last year in Florence, Juventus steamrolled the home side, leaving with a 5-0 victory. Then came this summer, when the Viola had all but captured Dimitar Berbatov, only to see the moved hijacked by the underhanded dealings of Beppe Marotta.
Fiorentina have such fire behind them that this match almost feels like a derby. But will that be enough for them to knock Juventus off their pedestal?
Match Date/Time: Tuesday, September 25, 2:45 p.m. ET, 8:45 p.m. local
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy
TV: BeIN Sport en Espanol, RAI International, Sky Calcio 1, ESPN UK