Saturday March 8 2014
Montella: 'Fiorentina not Juve victims'

Vincenzo Montella says Fiorentina must “not be victims” when taking on Juventus for the first of three clashes.

The Viola visit Turin on Sunday at 11.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.

They’ll then face off against the Bianconeri in the Europa League Round of 16 on March 13 and 20.

“Of course we would’ve preferred to face a different team in Europe, but these are exciting challenges. Any result can happen against Juventus, but the important thing is to play with enthusiasm and character. We must prove that we have important objectives,” said Montella in his Press conference.

“Will we rotate the squad? We’re playing against a team you really can’t beat if you hold something back.”

Fiorentina fought back from 2-0 down to beat Juve 4-2 earlier this season, a result that remains Antonio Conte’s only Serie A defeat of the season.

“Why are we the only team to have beaten Juventus? You have to look at it logically. Juve are a very strong team both as individuals and as a tactical unit,” said Montella.

“They have an excellent leadership and a winning history as a club. This game does bring particular motivation and I am sure the players are aware of this. We’ve got to give our all and I expect to see a team not afraid to push forward its ideas of football.

“In the 4-2 victory earlier this season we did what we usually do. I should also show the team the first 70 minutes of that match, which were not exactly encouraging...”

Borja Valero will not take part, as his four-match ban was cut to three on appeal, something President Andrea Della Valle called “a defeat for football.” However, Montella is eager to calm the situation.

“We must not be victims of anything. Over the course of a campaign there are moments where you’re more easy-moving in your results and style. The important thing is to continue what we believe in, not losing conviction, enthusiasm or personal confidence. Besides, life is full of injustice...”

Mario Gomez could well start, as he is heading towards complete recovery after five months out with a knee injury.

“He is improving and probably he feels the weight of not delivering what he knows that he can, but he certainly isn’t guilty of anything. Injuries happen. He has realised when out for a long time it takes a while to get back into gear, but I think he’ll soon be back to his level. He just needs a goal, even a scuffed one,” continued the Coach.

“Are Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente a stronger pairing than Gomez and Giuseppe Rossi? I don’t want to motivate our opponents with my answer. I’ll just say it would’ve been nice to have Rossi-Gomez for the whole season.”

With Borja Valero banned and the fans furious, Montella warned Fiorentina cannot keep making the situation worse.

It’s particularly a concern because referee Daniele Orsato has assigned the most yellow cards for dissent this season.

“We have to understand the referee and not protest. Orsato doesn’t accept dissent and we know that.”

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