Impressive Fiorentina a challenge for Juventus

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 February, 2013, 3:51am


Juventus striker Alessandro Matri is confident the leaders can see off the challenge of an impressive Fiorentina side to extend their lead over Napoli today.

Fiorentina held Juventus to a goalless draw in Florence at the end of September and Matri said: "We'll prepare for Fiorentina by looking back at our first meeting this season, in which they did very well and gave us some trouble.

"They are enjoying a great league campaign, but we will be meticulous in preparing for this game and then relax in the lead-up to the match."

Already considered by most to be the title favourites, Juve's claims have been kept in check by the amazing goal-scoring feats of Napoli's Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani.

Napoli are on an unbeaten run of six games during which Cavani, recently linked with cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, has taken his league-topping goals tally to 18.

In normal circumstances Lazio would hope for at least a share of the points at home to the Walter Mazzarri-led Napoli side.

However, Napoli have been on fire recently, while Lazio are winless in their past three league outings including humiliating defeats by Genoa (2-3) and Chievo (0-1).

Lazio, who face Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Europa League round of 32 next week, have also lost German veteran striker Miroslav Klose for two months due to a right thigh injury.

They have since brought in Louis Saha, but Lazio's Bosnian coach Vladimir Petkovic insisted the Frenchman, released by Sunderland last month, was no replacement for Klose.

"The club decided on this deal to help boost our ambitions this season, it's an addition that will give us a competitive edge," Petkovic said.

"Saha has not come in as a replacement for Klose. He will return in a while and when he does it will give us further opportunities on the pitch."