Juventus’ Vlahovic has ‘mentality of big player’ – Ribery

Salernitana winger Franck Ribery praised Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic: He has the mentality of a big player.

The two briefly played together at Fiorentina before the ex-France star left once his contract expired at the end of last season and the Serbia forward was signed by Juve in January.

Ribery enjoyed enormous success at Bayern Munich before moving to Serie A while he was also part of an incredible France side, and said he is impressed with Vlahovic’s mentality.

“Vlahovic has the mentality of a big player,” Ribery told DAZN. “He has the right mentality – he is someone who works hard.

“In 2006, when I played with great players at international level, for 10 years I played with some greats like [Zinedine] Zidane and [Lilian] Thuram.

“I was quite smart and I watched their behaviour because they were great players.”

Ribery said Vlahovic, 22, stood out because he has a different mentality to a lot of young players in the game.

“I like young players when they are intelligent, when they believe, they work and they’re hungry,” Ribery added. “I have known a lot of talents who were lacking grit.

“I always look to help young player out, to help them become greats. For example, I see [David] Alaba as a brother.

“I met him when he was 16 and today he is world class. The first time he saw me with a nice car and nice watch, I told him not to think about the car or the watch but to work hard and make a lot of sacrifices.

“Then slowly, the cars, watches and the rest will arrive.”

Ribery won nine Bundesliga titles and six German Cups in 12 seasons and with Bayern Munich. 

His best moment came in the 2012-13 campaign when he helped the Bavarians win the Treble of Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League and he finished third on the Ballon d’Or podium behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. 

Fiorentina vs. Juventus Predictions & Betting Tips

The 2021-22 Serie A season wraps up this weekend, but these Fiorentina vs. Juventus predictions show there is still plenty left to play for. Juventus have already confirmed themselves a top-four spot, with Fiorentina facing a last-gasp European battle as they welcome their fierce rivals to the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Fiorentina vs. Juventus odds

1 – A draw – 14/5

2 – Over 2.5 total goals – 13/19

3 – Juventus over 1.5 total goals – 33/20

4 – BTTS – Yes – 8/13

5 – 2-2 draw – 12/1

Fiorentina’s final game of the 2021-22 season will decide their fate for European qualification next term. Vincenzo Italiano’s hosts head into the game currently in seventh place in the table, in the Europa Conference League spot, but the picture around them is likely to change.

Lazio look set to have already done enough to seal a Europa League place, in fifth, while Roma, Atalanta and Fiorentina are all vying for the second spot. However, the Viola’s fail-safe of a Europa Conference League place could be snatched away with a negative result this weekend, should their rivals win.

The home side go into the contest on the back of their worst run of form this season, with just one win from their last four Serie A outings. That’s compared to Juventus’ return of two wins in their last four.

The inconsistency for both teams means picking a clear favourite is difficult, with a draw a likely outcome, even if it derails Fiorentina’s European plans. However, despite their struggles, both teams offer an almost certain guarantee of goals, based on their form this month.

All four of Juve’s league games in May have featured over 2.5 total goals scored, with Fiorentina managing that total in two of their last four league outings. The Old Lady’s own form in front of goal is particularly eye-catching, with two or more goals scored by Max Allegri’s side in five of their last six games in league and cup action.

A high-scoring draw looks to be a very solid option in this game, but it is likely to mean Fiorentina face an anxious wait on results elsewhere to confirm if, or where, they will be playing in Europe next season.

How to stream Fiorentina vs. Juventus

You can stream Fiorentina vs. Juventus live in Saturday night action via an official bet365 stream, with customers able to watch the full match via a valid betting account. This includes having sufficient funds in your betting wallet or placing a within 24 hours of kick-off. The game is also available for Serie A fans to watch anywhere in the world via ExpressVPN. To sign up and claim three months extra free: 

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Fiorentina vs. Juventus last five matches

Fiorentina last five matches

Juventus last five matches

Fiorentina top goalscorers

Juventus top goalscorers

Fiorentina vs. Juventus line-ups

Fiorentina (4-3-3): Terracciano; Biraghi, Julio, Milenkovic, Amrabat; Duncan, Torreira, Bonaventura; Callejon, Cabral, Piatek.

Juventus (4-2-3-1): Szczesny; Sandro, De Ligt, Bonucci, Cuadrado; Locatelli, Miretti; Morata, Dybala, Bernardeschi; Vlahovic.

Fiorentina team news

Italiano is boosted by the return of Sofyan Amrabat from a one-game ban, with the former Feyenoord man expected to rotate back into the starting XI this weekend. Forward pair Jose Callejon and Krzysztof Piatek could also return as the hosts chase goals against Juventus.

Juventus team news

Allegri’s injury picture has not changed ahead of the final weekend of the campaign. Former Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic will lead the line against his old club, while Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala could both be left out after celebrating their final home game for the Bianconeri on Monday.

Europa and Conference League race goes down to the wire

Lazio have already qualified for the Europa League, but Roma, Fiorentina and Atalanta are all within one point going into the final round.

The last-gasp Sergej Milinkovic-Savic equaliser for 2-2 against Juventus last night ensured the Biancocelesti will be in the Europa League, as they reached 63 points.

It means at worst, they will finish in sixth place.

However, the rest is all up in the air, as Roma have 60 points, Fiorentina and Atalanta are both on 59.

In theory, fifth and sixth go into the Europa League, while seventh qualifies for the Conference League play-offs.

If Roma win the Conference League Final against Feyenoord on May 25, they go directly into the Europa League too.

There is one scenario where if Roma finish eighth and win the Conference League, then there will be eight Italian sides in Europe next season rather than seven.

In Serie A, head-to-head record is the first deciding element when two teams finish level on points.

If three or more sides finish level, then a mini-league table is drawn up of their head-to-head records.

Roma have a superior h2h with Atalanta, while it is totally even with Fiorentina, but they have a better overall goal difference.

The Giallorossi also have a better head-to-head record with Lazio.

Fiorentina have a superior head-to-head record with Atalanta, so they will be in Europe with a victory.

Atalanta are the only side who cannot guarantee anything, as even if they win the final match with Empoli, they could still finish eighth because of the negative head-to-head record with both Roma and Fiorentina.

Champions League group stage

Europa League group stage

Europa Conference League play-off round

Relegation

Vierchowod: ‘Milenkovic not good enough for Juventus’

Former Italy defender Pietro Vierchowod insists Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic is ‘not good enough for Juventus,’ though he is also of interest to Manchester United, Newcastle and West Ham.

The 24-year-old Serbia international has been in Florence since leaving Partizan Belgrade in 2017 and is under contract until June 2023.

He had already been heavily linked with a Premier League move over the summer and again in January 2022, so the rumour mill is cranking up once more.

While Manchester United, Newcastle United and West Ham United are all interested, Vierchowod urges Juventus to look elsewhere.

“I have to say I was watching Sampdoria-Fiorentina yesterday and I don’t believe Milenkovic is good enough for Juventus,” Vierchowod told Radio Bianconera.

“Obviously, this is just my personal opinion. He conceded four goals against a side that is already safe and with such basic errors, that’s just not possible.

“The Serbian has a good physique, but if I was the Bianconeri, I wouldn’t go for him.”

Juventus need a replacement for Giorgio Chiellini, who waved goodbye to the Allianz Juventus Stadium crowd in emotional scenes last night.

Vierchowod won the Scudetto at Roma and Sampdoria, wore the Juventus jersey in 1995-96 during their Champions League winning campaign and was in the Italy squad that lifted the 1982 World Cup.

Serie A will clamp down on delays to avoid unfair advantage

The Lega Serie A have warned teams that they will be extremely strict on timing to ensure games are played simultaneously, so nobody can gain an advantage from knowing the other results.

Before the age of television rights breaking up the fixture list, the final three or four rounds were always played simultaneously to counter sides knowing what their opponents had already done.

Some of that remains today, with the matches involving clubs challenging for position played at the same time, including the Scudetto race, with Milan at Sassuolo and Inter hosting Sampdoria on Sunday at 17.00 UK time (16.00 GMT).

With this in mind, the Lega Serie A released a statement this evening warning they will be very strict on any teams who try to delay coming out for the start or the second half.

The limit of tolerance will be reduced to just five minutes.

However, there is still the potential for more extra time in one game than another in case of VAR on-field reviews or injuries.

Serie A Lega logo

Juve identify Gabriel and Milenkovic as possible Chiellini replacements

Juventus are looking to strengthen their backline this summer and two players in particular have caught their eye: Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Arsenal’s Gabriel.

The Old Lady are preparing for the emotional departure of veteran centre back Giorgio Chiellini, who is leaving Turin after 17 years of service this summer. Massimiliano Allegri will therefore need a new defender to try and fill the void left behind, and the club’s search is starting to heat up.

As reported by Tuttosport, Milenkovic and Gabriel are currently two players that Juventus are seriously considering ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. The former’s contract expires with Fiorentina next season and he could be signed in a fairly affordable deal.

The latter has not had a hugely convincing campaign in North London and could leave on a loan deal, especially if William Saliba returns to Arsenal from a loan spell with Olympique Marseille.

Juventus have time to prepare ahead of the summer and they understand the importance of signing a top replacement, but it won’t be easy for them to forget Chiellini anytime soon.

Juve identify Gabriel and Milenkovic as possible Chiellini replacements

Juventus are looking to strengthen their backline this summer and two players in particular have caught their eye: Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Arsenal’s Gabriel.

The Old Lady are preparing for the emotional departure of veteran centre back Giorgio Chiellini, who is leaving Turin after 17 years of service this summer. Massimiliano Allegri will therefore need a new defender to try and fill the void left behind, and the club’s search is starting to heat up.

As reported by Tuttosport, Milenkovic and Gabriel are currently two players that Juventus are seriously considering ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. The former’s contract expires with Fiorentina next season and he could be signed in a fairly affordable deal.

The latter has not had a hugely convincing campaign in North London and could leave on a loan deal, especially if William Saliba returns to Arsenal from a loan spell with Olympique Marseille.

Juventus have time to prepare ahead of the summer and they understand the importance of signing a top replacement, but it won’t be easy for them to forget Chiellini anytime soon.

Juve identify Gabriel and Milenkovic as possible Chiellini replacements

Juventus are looking to strengthen their backline this summer and two players in particular have caught their eye: Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic and Arsenal’s Gabriel.

The Old Lady are preparing for the emotional departure of veteran centre back Giorgio Chiellini, who is leaving Turin after 17 years of service this summer. Massimiliano Allegri will therefore need a new defender to try and fill the void left behind, and the club’s search is starting to heat up.

As reported by Tuttosport, Milenkovic and Gabriel are currently two players that Juventus are seriously considering ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window. The former’s contract expires with Fiorentina next season and he could be signed in a fairly affordable deal.

The latter has not had a hugely convincing campaign in North London and could leave on a loan deal, especially if William Saliba returns to Arsenal from a loan spell with Olympique Marseille.

Juventus have time to prepare ahead of the summer and they understand the importance of signing a top replacement, but it won’t be easy for them to forget Chiellini anytime soon.

Italiano urges Fiorentina to do Torreira deal with Arsenal

Vincenzo Italiano has urged Fiorentina to reach an agreement with Arsenal to sign Lucas Torreira on a permanent basis. ‘He has extraordinary quality.’

The Uruguay international seems to suit Serie A football more, as he came to Pescara for their youth academy in 2014 and impressed at Sampdoria too before periods at Arsenal and Atletico Madrid.

Since returning to Italy on loan from the Gunners, he has been impressive with five goals and one assist in 29 Serie A appearances.

“The playmaker is the fulcrum of the team, so if the midfield is running smoothly, the whole side runs smoothly,” said the coach in his press conference.

“This is one of the main principles of football. Lucas brought balance and has been prolific in front of goal too, showing his extraordinary quality. There are no doubts over what he can give this squad in future.”

There is a €15m option to make the loan deal permanent at the end of the season, but Fiorentina are haggling over the price, especially as they have not yet secured European qualification.

There is also reported to be tension between the clubs because Arsenal are still irritated that Fiorentina sold Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus.

Torreira showed his warrior-like commitment to the cause this month by playing on even after one of his teeth was knocked out.

Inter only third team ever to beat Juventus three times in one season

Simone Inzaghi’s Inter side have become only the third Italian team ever to beat Juventus three times in the same season.

Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final victory over Juve made it three victories for Inter over the Bianconeri across three competitions this campaign.

The only precedents took place in the 1940s before the introduction of the Supercoppa.

In 1940-41, Fiorentina won 3-2 in Turin and 5-0 in Tuscany during their two league meetings, while La Viola also claimed a 5-3 win in the Coppa Italia last-16.

Two seasons later, it was Lazio won repeated the feat when won 5-3 at the Stadio Olimpico and 4-2 away from home. The Biancocelesti also claimed a 3-2 Coppa Italia last-16 victory.

Despite introduction of the Supercoppa from 1988 and the increase in domestic clashes in European competition, it took 79 years for Juve to again lose three times against the same opposition.

A last-minute Alexis Sanchez goal gave Inter the Supercoppa win, while Hakan Calhanoglu’s penalty earned the Nerazzurri a 1-0 victory in Turin.

On Wednesday, Inter triumphed in a six-goal thriller in the Coppa Italia final while it could also have been four wins for Inzaghi’s men as Juve claimed a 1-1 draw at San Siro earlier in the campaign thanks to Paulo Dybala’s 89th-minute penalty.