Having finished 13 points off a Champions League place last season, it seemed that Fiorentina’s mission this time around was to close the gap on the teams above them and book their spot in Europe’s elite competition for the first time since the 2009/10 campaign.
All seemed to be going to plan early on as Vincenzo Montella’s men enjoyed a strong middle part to the term which propelled them up the domestic standings. A trio of defeats in their last three league matches, however, have somewhat seen their aspirations grind to a halt.
But with a chance to match last year's fourth-placed finish still up for grabs, the Viola players will attempt to rally together and push for a strong end to the season, starting this evening at Juventus Stadium.
Fiorentina possess talent in abundance and Juventus.com has picked out Borja Valero, Mohamed Salah and Mario Gomez as the three men to watch out for during tonight’s contest in Turin.
Name: Borja Valero
Real Madrid youth team graduate Borja Valero is a cool, calm and collected presence at the heart of the Fiorentina midfield.
A wizard with the ball at his feet, the 30-year-old is blessed with flair and can play either behind the striker or just in front of the Viola rearguard.
Adept with either foot, Valero is a warrior who gets back to defend and has also shown his leadership qualities this term, donning the captain’s armband on numerous occasions.
One for trivia fanatics, the La Roja international won the Spanish Player of the Year in 2010 for his fantastic performances while at former club Real Mallorca.
Name: Mohamed Salah
Position: Winger/Attacking midfielder/Supporting striker
Egyptian international Salah has proved a revelation since joining on loan from Chelsea during the January transfer window.
The 22-year-old, who possesses a variety of skills in his ever-growing repertoire, has proved a nightmare for opposition rearguards during his very short time in Italy.
Despite having played just 13 games in all competitions for the Viola, Salah has already scored seven goals and assisted two more for his team-mates.
Juventus will be wary of the pacy winger after he bagged a brace during March’s 2-1 Coppa Italia semi-final first leg triumph at Juventus Stadium.
Name: Mario Gomez
Despite enduring an injury-hit couple of years with the Viola, Gomez has started to put his troubles behind him to spearhead the club’s exciting attack.
A Champions League winner with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, he has been described as a confident finisher who is often in the right place at the right time to apply the key touch.
Due to his imposing presence up front causing numerous problems for defenders in both Serie A and Europe, Gomez has managed to chip in with ten strikes and two assists for the Tuscany-based outfit in all competitions this season.
The 29-year-old, who has both German and Spanish heritage through his parents, recently helped Fiorentina book their place in the Europa League semi-final, contributing a goal in last week’s 2-0 quarter-final second leg victory over Dynamo Kyiv at the Artemio Franchi.