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Serie A Preview: Juventus-Fiorentina

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Serie A Preview: Juventus-Fiorentina
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Serie A Preview: Juventus-Fiorentina

Juventus and Fiorentina will be familiar foes in the next few weeks and the first of their three encounters this month will be on Sunday.

There appears to be no stopping runaway Serie A leader Juve in its quest to win a third consecutive Scudetto, as it holds an 11-point lead over second-placed Roma.

Fourth-placed Fiorentina is the only side to have beaten Antonio Conte's men in the Italian top flight this season when it won 4-2 at the Artemio Franchi back in October, so the Bianconeri will have a score to settle.

This weekend's clash at Juventus Stadium also gives the two sides an opportunity to size each other up ahead of their Europa League last-16 first-leg clash at the same ground next Thursday.

Juve had to settle for a place in Europe's secondary club competition after being dumped out of the Champions League and it will travel to Florence for the second leg on March 20.

Conte's immediate attention, however, is on stretching the Turin giants' unbeaten run to 19 Serie A matches and moving a step closer to retaining the title.

Giorgio Chiellini is set to return following a three-week spell on the sidelines with a calf injury in a week that Conte expressed his surprise that the defender was called up to the Italy squad to face Spain.

Chiellini ultimately played no part in the 1-0 defeat against the world and European champions on Wednesday, but he could be back in the Juve side against Vincenzo Montella's charges.

Juve welcomes back key midfielder Arturo Vidal after he sat out the 2-0 win at AC Milan last weekend due to a one-match ban, but playmaker Andrea Pirlo is unavailable as he serves a one-match suspension as a result of his caution at San Siro.

The champions have reeled off five consecutive wins in all competitions and have not conceded a goal in their last four games.

Fiorentina is without a win in three games in all competitions and will be without midfielder Borja Valero, who serves the second of a reduced three-match ban, while defender Nenad Tomovic is also suspended.

The Viola's defeat against Lazio leaves them seven points adrift of third-placed Napoli.

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