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Juventus v Fiorentina: Champions seek derby reaction with title in sight

Juventus have no time to dwell on a disappointing derby defeat to Torino as they host Fiorentina on Wednesday in the knowledge that a win could secure the Serie A title.

Massimiliano Allegri’s men could have wrapped up a fourth consecutive Scudetto had they beaten Torino on Sunday, provided Lazio and Roma had lost to Chievo and Inter respectively.

As it transpired Lazio earned a point against Chievo to ensure that scenario was not a possibility, but despite Torino’s 2-1 win – their first derby triumph since 1995 – it remains a matter of when and not if Juve win the title.

Indeed, that could come as early as Wednesday’s contest at the Juventus Stadium if Juve win and Lazio fail to beat rock-bottom Parma, with a superior head-to-head record rendering Roma’s result an irrelevance.

But Allegri, whose side knocked Fiorentina out of the Coppa Italia earlier this month, says Juve must be more methodical in their play if they are to defeat Vincenzo Montella’s team.

“There are certain phases in the game in which you also need to wait and be patient, leaving those who find themselves a goal behind to dictate the play,” he said. 

“Ending the first half in front [against Torino] would have been important.”

Fiorentina travel to the champions in poor domestic form, having lost their last three league matches.

The latest setback came in a 3-1 reverse at home to relegation-threatened Cagliari, which led to the Stadio Artemio Franchi faithful jeering in disapproval.

Montella stated his sympathy for the fans, who have seen Fiorentina seemingly blow their chances of a top-three finish and the UEFA Champions League qualification it would bring.

They remain in with a chance of securing a seat at Europe’s top table next term, though, having made the Europa League semi-finals.

However, Montella questioned whether his side could cope with the demands of a hectic schedule.

“When you play every three days you use up a lot of energy, and not everybody is able to reset their batteries and start again,” he said. 

“Perhaps we’re not capable of doing that constantly. The side put the effort in but we deserved to lose [against Cagliari]. 

“The race for the European places is now getting a lot tighter and we’ll fight to the end to qualify.”

Mon 27 Apr, 2015
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