Tipped as a potential title challenger at the start of the term, Fiorentina’s season began in disappointing fashion as a 2-0 opening day away defeat to Roma was immediately followed by a goalless home draw against 10-man Genoa, with Mattia Perin proving an impenetrable barrier in the Rossoblu goal.
They eventually got off the mark on matchday three, Jasmin Kurtic climbing off the bench to silence the home crowd courtesy of a fine winner midway through the second half against Atalanta at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.
Hoping a first win of the season would spark an immediate upturn in form, Vincenzo Montella’s men instead found themselves frustrated at home by Sassuolo (0-0) and away at Torino (1-1) as their patchy introduction to the campaign continued.
Again, a positive 3-0 dispatching of Inter, sealed through strikes from Khouma Babacar, Juan Cuadrado and Nenad Tomovic, appeared to have cured their Serie A stage fright on home soil, only for Lazio to put pay to any hopes of the corner being turned with a comfortable 2-0 win at the Artemio Franchi the following week.
After steadying the ship with a creditable 1-1 draw against Pippo Inzaghi’s Milan at the San Siro, Fiorentina registered their second home win of the season a week later, Babacar’s double and Borja Valero clipping the wings of high-flying Udinese.
But their inconsistency would again come back to haunt them as successive defeats to Sampdoria (3-1) and Napoli (1-0) saw them lose further ground on the European spots.
Last week witnessed the Viola turn the tables, with back-to-back away triumphs over Hellas Verona (2-1) and Cagliari (4-0) taking them to within three points of fifth-placed Sampdoria.
They will be hoping to make it three in a row on Friday against Juventus, a side whom they ran out 4-2 winners against in last season’s corresponding fixture.