Fernando Llorente has expressed his determination to secure victory against Fiorentina on Sunday in order to satisfy Juventus’ desire for revenge and propel the side towards a strong finish in the 2013/14 campaign.
The Bianconeri suffered a 4-2 defeat in this season's first meeting between the sides at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, and are now keen to make amends when they line up at Juventus Stadium for a 12.30 CET Serie A kick-off.
Speaking to Sky Italia about the first of the upcoming three clashes against the Viola in the space of 11 days, Llorente certainly didn’t beat around the bush when explaining Juve’s objective on Sunday. “We want revenge. Fiorentina are the only side that have managed to beat us in the league and we want to demonstrate that what happened in Tuscany was just an error.”
The speed and unexpectedness of the Viola’s comeback to win 4-2 at home in late October meant it all seemed to happen in a blur, and the Spaniard went on to express his bewilderment as to why it panned out they way it did.
“We had played a great first half, and we could even have scored again right after the break. Then there were those twenty minutes in which Fiorentina came to life and we made some mistakes...I don’t really know how to explain what happened.”
An important Fiorentina man who will be missing through injury this time around is Giuseppe Rossi, and Llorente believes the striker will be sorely missed.
“Rossi is a brilliant forward and I really felt for him with his injury because he was enjoying a great campaign. For Villarreal he achieved great things in Spain, but he was really unfortunate there too in terms of injuries.”
The striker who scored a hat-trick against Juve last time may be ruled out, but Viola boss Vincenzo Montella can now once again count on the firepower of Mario Gomez, who has returned from a six-month knee injury layoff.
And Juve’s Spanish hitman is well aware of the talents possessed by the fellow striker.
“Gomez is really dangerous, he showed his abilities at Bayern and he’ll no doubt put in a strong season from here on in.”
Sunday’s encounter will be quickly followed on Thursday 13 March by the first leg of the Europa League last 16 tie that also pits Juventus against Fiorentina. Turning his attentions to that challenge, the 29-year-old said he was looking forward to the novelty of an all-Italian clash in the competition.
“Taking them on in Europe will be a unique experience, a bit like contesting a derby. But it doesn’t change much, only that we’re more familiar with the opposition.”
The 2013/14 season is now reaching the business end, and Llorente is out to close the deal by finishing it in the best way possible.
“The important thing is to not let our focus slip for even a moment, because Roma would be ready to pounce at any opportunity.
“The distance we’ve established over the Giallorossi has even surprised me a little. Our campaign has been sensational so far but it’s not easy to pick up this many points. What matters now is continuing this form right until the very end.”