Pioli talks up Franchi factor ahead of Juventus visit

Pioli talks up Franchi factor ahead of Juventus visit

30/11/2018 21:39


Stefano Pioli pinpointed the support of a sold-out Stadio Artemio Franchi as the key factor ahead of Juventus’ visit to Florence on Saturday.

"We won’t need to get the Franchi up for this," said the Viola boss, speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday. "We need to draw energy from everything tomorrow – everything. And we can’t focus on anything else: we can’t think about what’s happened, what’s not happened, what we could have done. Everything we’ve done has meant we come into this game with a good team identity.

"This is the match and we just need to focus on giving everything, drawing energy from everywhere and producing a great performance. We’re capable of that – Juventus are a great side but no team is unbeatable so we need to believe and play to win."

Pioli has never beaten Juventus during his managerial career, but the Viola coach insisted he is determined to change that on Saturday.

"You can’t change the past but you can change the future," he said. "That’s an incentive and I’m focusing solely on that. The main thing is that we perform well technically. We need to make sure we play the best possible football because I’m convinced that we will be able to create chances, but we’ll only be able to take advantage of them if our technical level is high enough."

Fiorentina may have a young squad – but Pioli believes there will be no issue with them getting to grips with the magnitude of the occasion at the Franchi.

"The only players lucky enough to have beaten Juventus for Fiorentina are [Federico] Chiesa, [Maximiliano] Olivera and me when I was a player here," he said. "We’ve told them about it but I don’t think we need to explain it to them. Anyone who plays for Fiorentina or lives in Florence knows how important the game is. There’s no doubt that my players are desperate to play in this game and have a lot of ambition. Why deny that? We’re up against the best team in Italy – one of the best in Europe – and a team that hasn’t lost on the road in the calendar year. It’s a massive opportunity."

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