Toni keeps emotions in check

Toni keeps emotions in check

Published Apr. 16, 2011 3:48 p.m. ET

Juventus striker Luca Toni has vowed to put emotions to one side when he returns to Florence to face Fiorentina on Sunday.

"It's a strange feeling to return to Florence and play against a team with which I spent two fantastic seasons," he said.

"In Florence I won the trophy for top scorer in Serie A in my first season at the club.

"We were a great group and I have many fond memories of my time there."


Toni expects his team to be tested by a Fiorentina side that has underachieved this season.

The Viola have waved goodbye to any hopes of playing in Europe next season after last week's 2-1 loss to AC Milan.

The defeat halted Fiorentina's six-match unbeaten run and dropped Sinisa Mihajlovic's side to 10th in the standings, nine points behind seventh-place Juve.

"For them this is their last important game and they will be eager to do well," Toni said.

"This match for us could be crucial for our European qualifying hopes.

"To win in Florence would be a big boost in confidence for us."

Juve go into the encounter on the back of three straight wins, including a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Genoa last time out.

The Turin giants are looking to remain on course for Champions League qualification but trail Lazio, who occupy fourth place and the last available qualification slot, by six points.

Juve coach Luigi Del Neri will have Gianluigi Buffon in goal, with the Italy international having recovered from illness after missing his team's last two league games.

The hosts will be bolstered by the return of Romanian striker Adrian Mutu - a former Juventus player - from suspension.