WITH the Europa League quarter-final tie delicately poised at 1-1, Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) inspects the best betting opportunities from the return leg in Florence.
Fiorentina v Dynamo Kiev | Thursday 20.05 | ITV4
A stoppage-time equaliser from Khouma Boubacar dramatically changed the complexion of this tie last Thursday as Fiorentina deservedly grabbed a draw away in Ukraine. Heading back to Florence, the Italians hold all the cards with a semi-final slot up for grabs.
La Viola’s late leveller was deserved as Vincenzo Montella’s men pushed hard late on but it shouldn’t be forgotten that Fiorentina did dominate Dynamo for large periods of the fixture. But at 3/4 (BetVictor) to win in 90 minutes and 2/5 (William Hill) to qualify, I just can’t nail my colours to the Viola mast at those prices.
Sure, the hosts have made a conscious effort to focus on Europa League football now that Champions League qualification via Serie A looks beyond them but their fine form that included a run of W10-D6-L2 in league action, has hit a big wobble in recent weeks. The Italians have recorded just three wins in 10 outings (W3-D3-L4) and their return of just two home victories in five Europa ties is also a little alarming.
Fiorentina can recall Jose Basanta to the heart of their backline but classy midfielder David Pizarro is doubtful and last week’s goalscoring hero Babacar has been ruled out for the season. Mario Gomez will spearhead the home attack but it’s at the other end where La Viola fans should be most concerned.
Montella’s charges have kept just three clean sheets in their last 15 outings at their Artemio Franchi home and should they concede, in what’s expected to be another tight battle, it’ll be advantage Kiev. The Ukrainians haven’t failed to find the back of the net on the road since October and boast plenty of potential goalscoring talents.
The visitors make the journey without suspended centre-half Aleksandar Dragovic whilst midfielder Miguel Veloso struggles for fitness. Much has been made of their road record in the Europa League this term; losing both away knockout games and three of their last four overseas ventures in this competition but Sergei Rebrov’s side look more than capable of giving their hosts an uncomfortable ride.
Despite those dodgy away results, Dynamo have scored in four of their five Europa League ties on their travels this season and I’m going to back them to play their part in a Both Teams To Score bet at 10/11 with Ladbrokes.
Do you have a strong view on this Europa League tie? Is Mark right to assume Dynamo Kiev will grab a goal in Florence?
We’d love to hear your views so let us know in the comments box below.
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