After the scoreless Derby of Milan on Tuesday night, Juventus and Fiorentina face each other for the second semifinal of the 2021-22 Coppa Italia edition. The two teams play the first leg in Florence on Wednesday, while the second leg will be played in Turin on April 21th. This match marks the first return to Florence of Serbian striker Dusan Vlahović, who signed for Juventus last January for around €75 million. Fiorentina fans definitely won’t be happy to see him, as he’s the third player in the last three years to jump from there to Juventus after Federico Bernardeschi and Federico Chiesa.
This season, the two sides played in Serie A last November 6, with Juan Cuadrado scoring a last minute winning goal in Turin. They will play in Florence in the last round of Serie A fixtures on May 22, when Dusan Vlahović will make another comeback to his former city.
Here’s what you need to know:
Date: Wednesday, Mar. 2 | Time: 3:00 p.m. ET
Location: Stadio Artemio Franchi — Florence, Italy
TV: CBS Sports Network
Live Stream: Paramount+
Fiorentina: Vincenzo Italiano should play with hi usual 4-3-3 against Juventus. Pietro Terracciano should be the starter in goal, with Alvaro Odriozola, Nikola Milenkovic, Igor and Cristiano Biraghi in defense. No many changes are expected in midfield, with Giacomo Bonaventura, Lucas Torreira and Gaetano Castrovilli ready to play. Krzysztof Piatek and Nico Gonzalez are sure to be part of the starting eleven, the only doubt is about the other winger, with either Jonathan Ikoné or Riccardo Sottil getting the nod. During his pre-match press conference Italiano avoided commenting about Vlahović’s comeback to Florence saying, “How will the fans welcome him? This problem is not part of my preparation of the match. My concerns are the fact that up front they are strong and that they can hurt us in any moment, that they are very strong in defense and come from thirteen positive results in a row. I hope that the stadium will push us to try to get a positive result”.
Juventus: Mattia Perin will be the goalkeeper, with Mattia De Sciglio, Danilo, Matthijs de Ligt and Luca Pellegrini in defense. Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani are still not in the best conditions to play and for this reason former Manchester City player Danilo will play as center-back. French midfielder Marley Aké is expected to start, alongside Manuel Locatelli, Arthur and Adrien Rabiot. Alvaro Morata and Dusan Vlahović should play together as strikers, even if coach Massimiliano Allegri during the pre-match press conference left some doubts about the former Fiorentina player: “Vlahovic will always be grateful to everyone in Florence, who raised him and allowed him to join Juventus. I still have to decide if he will start or not, he has played many games since he arrived”.
Fiorentina and Juventus are currently two of the best teams in Serie A and it’s definitely going to be a spectacular match full of emotions. Juventus are the favorites, but Fiorentina must not be underestimated. The presence of Vlahović is going to be an extra motivation for fans and his former teammates. PICK: Fiorentina 2 Juventus 2