COPPA ITALIA: FIORENTINA TO FACE JUVENTUS
Fiorentina will take on Juventus in the Coppa Italia semi-finals for a place in the final of the competition this season after they saw off hosts Atalantain a five-goal thriller during their quarterfinal tie in Bergamo on Thursday night. Serbian international striker DusanVlahovicof Juventus will have to chance to immediately face his former team Fiorentinatwice apart from their league meeting later this season. Fiorentina and Juventus are due to face each other in the league for the second and last time this season on the final day. For Coppa Italia, the first leg between the two teams is at ArtemioFranchi Stadium in Florence on March 2, while the second leg is at the Allianz Arena in Turin on April 21.
The €75m transfer that took Vlahovic from Fiorentina to Juventus was one of the biggest deals during the winter transfer window last month. Vlahovic made an instant impact as a new Juventus player as he scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win at home to Hellas Verona in the league clash played last weekend. As a matter of fact, the two major signings at Juventus last month were on target against Verona. In addition to Vlahovic, Swiss midfielder Dennis Zakaria also scored on his Juventus debut on the back of his transfer from German team Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Fiorentina have been underdogs in their last two Coppa Italia ties against Napoli and Atalanta, but they have managed to see off both teams to secure a place in the last four of the competition. They saw off Napoli in front of their home fans in the round of 16 before doing the same to Atalanta in the quarterfinals as mentioned earlier. The Napoli game ended 5-2 in favour of Fiorentina at the end of extra time with the hosts finishing the game with ten men, while Fiorentina had nine men. For the Atalantagame, it was done in 90 minutes but Fiorentina finished the game with ten men.
Fiorentina and Juventus will do battle in the second semi-final in the Coppa Italia this season, while the Milan duo of Inter Milan and AC Milan will face each other in the first semi-final.