SPURS continue their quest for Europa League glory with a mouthwatering tie against Fiorentina. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) has been on the prowl for the best bet from Thursday’s first leg.
Tottenham v Fiorentina | Thursday 20.05 | BT Sport 2
The Europa League takes plenty of flack but I have to say, I’m really looking forward to a number of Last 32 showdowns but Spurs’ home clash against Fiorentina is top of that list. Two teams in relatively good form, jam-packed full of flair players and with serious aspirations for winning the competition, it should be a corker.
For Tottenham, this is the first of six games in 17 days. It’s also their 42nd match of the season but manager Mauricio Pochettino was quick to dismiss claims his side could be starting to creak as they deal with his all-action, high-pressing style.
Spurs enjoyed a weekend off without FA Cup commitments so there’ll be no excuse about the north Londoners condition for Thursday night and I get the feeling Poch will be looking to continue their upward curve in 2015 with a strong first leg performance. The Group C runners-up travel to Florence for the return leg just three days before their Capital One Cup final clash with Chelsea.
Tottenham’s last 11 games at White Hart Lane have returned impressive W8-D2-L1 figures but they remain fragile at the back. In 24 outings in front of their home supporters this season, the hosts have kept just nine clean sheets. However, they’ve only failed to notch on four occasions so immediately I’m looking towards the Both Teams To Score market.
Ladbrokes have chalked up BTTS as a 4/5 option. Although it may look a touch short to some, I did expect that price to be closer to 4/6. I’ve already mentioned Spurs’ proficiency in front of goal and their unconvincing defence but now lets focus on Fiorentina.
After a slow, sloppy start to their Serie A campaign, Vincenzo Montella’s men are beginning to flourish. Viola head to England without a defeat in eight, coming out on top in six of those fixtures, including a third successive victory at the weekend when despatching Sassuolo in style 3-1.
January signing Mohamed Salah marked his first start for the club with a goal and laid on one of two others for Khouma Babacar to ensure that Montella’s charges remain fourth in Serie A. And the Florence-based club topped Group K with an outstanding road record, winning all three of their pool fixtures on their travels.
In fact, Fiorentina have now W7-D2-L0 in their nine away Europa League games and have also W5-D1-L2 in eight previous meetings with English sides. Viola will be hunting an away goal and having scored in 14 of their last 15 away from their Stadio Artemio Franchi base, you’ve got to fancy their chances of adding to that record on Thursday night. And just for clarity, eight of the Italians last 11 away games have also banked in the BTTS column. I’m on!
Tottenham v Fiorentina – Both Teams To Score (4/5 Ladbrokes)
What’s your best bet for Thursday night’s showdown at White Hart Lane? Are Spurs value to win? Could the Italians come out on top?
We’d love to hear your views on the game so let us know in the comments box below!