SEVILLA have one foot in the Europa League final. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) takes a look at the best value bets on offer for their semi-final second leg against Fiorentina on Thursday.
Fiorentina v Sevilla | Thursday 20.05
Fiorentina have a mountain to climb. 3-0 down from the first leg at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Vincenzo Montella’s men actually enjoyed the better share of goalscoring chances in the first half but were punished for their wastefulness with goalkeeper Norberto Neto and his defenders endured an off night in Europe’s hottest city.
But Montella is refusing to give up the ghost just yet. A 3-2 win at Empoli on Sunday means La Viola have recorded back-to-back Serie A victories and recent history suggests Sevilla might want to err on the side of caution. Only last season Valencia overturned a 3-0 deficit to progress in their quarter-final against Basel and although it looks improbably, Fiorentina are keeping faith.
Unai Emery’s visitors are attempting to become the first team to win Europe’s secondary competition on four occasions and the defending champions make the journey to Florence having won all bar one of their Europa League knockout games this season, scoring at least twice in six of those seven matches.
The Andalusians’ boss has promised his side will go looking for the win and Emery will be all to aware that an away goal should kill the tie completely so I’m certainly not expected Sevilla to adopt a defensive mentality in Tuscany; the silky Spaniards are built to attack.
The visitors have netted in their last 16 games and should have enough to take advantage of the defensive issues that have plagued their Italian hosts throughout the season. Nevertheless, we should expect Fiorentina to come out all guns blazing, as they’ve no option but to push forward in the search for goals.
I’d be surprised if La Viola failed to notch in Florence with Montella claiming his charges won’t deter from their usual attacking philosophy. So rather than taking the straight Both Teams To Score bet, I’m interested in the Over 2.5 Goals and BTTS offering from Bet365 with evens available.
The hosts have seen their last five feature three goals or more with seven of Sevilla’s previous 10 also producing an Over 2.5 Goals winner. What’s more, Overs have banked in Andalusians most recent six Europa League encounters.
Fiorentina v Sevilla – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (1/1 Bet365)