One of the bitterest rivalries in the last 30 years of Italian football has been Fiorentina v Juventus, a fixture which will be played out again this Saturday night at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.
A vitriolic atmosphere is always likely to produce tension and a paucity of goal scoring opportunities; especially in the predominantly defensively minded Italian league, Serie A.
Antonio Conte’s visiting Juventus team have the stingiest defence in Serie A this season, conceding just 17 goals in 27 matches. They are also, rather impressively, the only team in Europe to remain unbeaten in their domestic league. Their form (and goal scoring ability) has wavered in the last month or so, under the pressure of striving for their first Serie A title since 2003.
Juve now sit four points behind Milan in second place, the main reason for this has been the staggering number of draws they have taken part in this season. In fact, they have won 13 games and drawn 14, but are still within touching distance of Milan.
We can see below that of their 14 away games in this campaign, 12 of them have ended in an under 2.5 goal result.
Juve’s last 4 games (home and away) have all been draws and under 2.5 goals, a sure sign that nerves are beginning to kick in with 11 games to go in the title race.
Fiorentina, meanwhile, have been having one of their worst seasons in modern times; sitting 15th in the table and scoring on average a meagre 1 goal per game. Their goal threat will also not be helped by the absence of top scorer, Stefan Jovetic (12 goals), on Saturday evening.
One win in five matches for the “Viola” means that confidence is low going in to this weekend’s fierce clash with Italian footballs most successful club, Juventus. The “Old Lady” do not have much firepower to boast of this season themselves though, with not a single player currently residing within the Capocannoniere scoring charts.