Serie A Preview: Juventus v Fiorentina

Juventus and Fiorentina will be familiar foes in the next few weeks and the first of their three encounters this month will be on Sunday.

There appears to be no stopping runaway Serie A leaders Juve in their quest to win a third consecutive Scudetto, as they hold an 11-point lead over second-placed Roma.

Fourth-placed Fiorentina are the only side to have beaten Antonio Conte's men in the Italian top flight this season when they won 4-2 at Artemio Franchi back in October, so Juve will have a score to settle.

This weekend's clash at Juventus Stadium also gives the two sides an opportunity to size each other up ahead of their UEFA Europa League round-of-16 first-leg clash at the same ground next Thursday.

Juve have had to settle for a place in Europe's secondary club competition after being dumped out of the UEFA Champions League and they will travel to Florence for the second leg on March 20.

Conte's immediate attention is on stretching the Turin giants' unbeaten run to 19 Serie A matches and moving a step closer to retaining their title.

The former Italy midfielder is braced for a stern test against a Fiorentina side still licking their wounds after a 1-0 home defeat against Lazio last weekend.

He told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Fiorentina are a very strong side.

"They have a lot of ambition and they want to qualify for the Champions League next season.

"They are fourth in the standings and have already reached the Coppa Italia final.

"We will face them first in the league and then in the Europa League and we shall see how that goes."

Giorgio Chiellini is set to return following a three-week spell on the sidelines with a calf injury in a week that Conte expressed his surprise that the defender was called up to the Italy squad to face Spain.

Chiellini ultimately played no part in the 1-0 defeat against the world and European champions on Wednesday, but he could be back in the Juve side against Vincenzo Montella's charges.

Juve welcome back key midfielder Arturo Vidal after he sat out the 2-0 win at Milan last weekend due to a one-match ban, but playmaker Andre Pirlo is unavailable as he serves a one-match suspension as a result of his caution at San Siro.

The champions have reeled off five consecutive wins in all competitions and not conceded a goal in their last four games.

Fiorentina are without a win in three games in all competitions and will be without midfielder Borja Valero, who serves the second of a reduced three-match ban, while defender Nenad Tomovic is also suspended.

The defeat against Lazio leaves them seven points adrift of third-placed Napoli.