TACTICAL boff Chris Bland (@blandc_1996) is on-hand to pick out his favourite value fancies from Sunday night's Serie A match-up between Fiorentina and Lazio.
Fiorentina v Lazio | Sunday 27th October 2019, 19:45 | Premier Sports
A resurgent Fiorentina host Lazio on Sunday night as Vincenzo Montella’s hosts look to extend their unbeaten run to seven games. A 0-0 draw last weekend against Brescia ended a three-match winning streak, however they will be confident of keeping their good form going against a Lazio side struggling for consistency.
Lazio were defeated 2-1 by Celtic on Thursday in an enthralling encounter in Glasgow. Simone Inzaghi opted to rest a number of key players, as their four-game unbeaten spell came to an end. Luis Alberto and Ciro Immobile were amongst those rested and should return for the trip to Florence.
Fiorentina’s forward movement
Despite a 0-0 draw on Monday against Brescia, Fiorentina have posed great attacking threat throughout the season, led by veteran Frenchman Franck Ribery and the talented Federico Chiesa.
Lining up 3-5-2, La Viola look to utilise the two attackers trickery on the break, whilst allowing them both a free role up top to drift out wide and between the lines of midfield and defence. Without a focal point up top, they are a nightmare for defenders as they risk breaking shape to try move out to deal with them, and by doing so leaves space for the other of the strikers to exploit.
The Lazio back three lacks the mobility to deal with these free flowing attackers, as was shown in their draw with Atalanta on Saturday, so there are promising signs for Montella’s men.
Cutting off the supply line to these strikers is key to any success that Lazio will have, and they will have to stop Chilean midfielder Erick Pulgar, who has been in fine form this season. With two assists and three goals to his name, the midfielder has also been averaging 3.8 key passes, as he links the play to Chiesa and Ribery.
Lazio need to cut off that supply line to Pulgar. Lucas Leiva will be tasked with doing so, but it will be a tough ask against the in-form Florence side.
Lazio’s strengths in attack
Despite only conceding nine goals this season, Lazio’s underlying numbers suggest this is a fortunate occurrence, with an Expected Goals (xG) against figure of 12.12. They were picked apart in devastating fashion by Atalanta’s front three last weekend, and for the reasons above, it can be expected to see them struggle once again.
For all their defensive frailties, Lazio do have an impressive attack, netting 16 goals already this season with an xG of 14.36. Luis Alberto has been fundamental to breaking teams down, so it was no surprise to see them struggle against Celtic without him in the side.
Matching Fiorentina tactically with a 3-5-2 formation, there should be plenty of space out wide for the likes of Alberto and Sergei Milkinovic-Savic to drift into and get themselves involved in the game, whilst Immobile will provide a focal point up front.
Immobile himself is in blistering form with nine goals already to his name this season, whilst strike partner Joaquin Correa will relish the opportunity coming up against a backline that can be susceptible to pace in behind.
Given the game looks to be heading in the direction of an attacking, open encounter, the goalscorer markets are worth exploring.
It is hard to look past Immobile to score anytime 13/8 (Paddy Power) given the run of form he is on, however it is worth noting he is overperforming his xG of 5.34 by a significant amount, and does beg the question how long can he keep up the impressive run. Averaging 4.15 shots, he isn’t afraid to take on an opportunity.
It is worth noting that strike partner Correa is underperforming his xGof 2.29, and in a game where chances should be on display, 7/2 (Betfair) does represent a value pick. With two goals to his name this season and averaging 4.44 shots, the Spanish attacker is worth keeping a keen eye on, especially against a defence he will be well positioned to exploit.
The underlying numbers suggest Correa is getting into the right positions, and as a result it should be a matter of time before his form turns.
Looking at a similar angle from a Fiorentina point of view, Chiesa is in a similar position, having only scored once despite an xG of 3.21. Available at 2/1 (Unibet) to score anytime, he is similarly churning out a number of shots per 90 minutes at 4.87, and both he and Correa could be worth looking into on shot markets where offered.
Fiorentina have also offered a threat from set-pieces, netting the winner against Udinese two weeks ago from a corner. German Pezzella has an xG of 2.04 and averaging 1.51 shots, and given the threat off dead-ball situations, is interestingly priced at 23/2 (Unibet) to net anytime.
Lazio showed their susceptibility to set pieces as Celtic netted the winner on Thursday night from a corner, and Pezzella could take appeal as a value long shot.
The betting angles
Given the open nature of the game expected and attacking talent on show from both sides, Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score is appealing at 19/20 (Bet365). Lazio’s leaky defence will struggle to cope with Fiorentina’s attack, whilst their attack possesses enough threat to break down La Viola’s backline.
With no shot markets currently priced up, it a tough choice as to which goalscorer to go for. Immobile is hard to overlook given the run of form he is on, and given he is available at 13/8 (PaddyPower), he looks the safest option.
Correa and Chiesa do both take appeal, and are proving they find themselves in the right position in matches, however the gamble to be taken on them is whether they can find their shooting boots.
Fiorentina v Lazio – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (19/20 Bet365)
Fiorentina v Lazio – Ciro Immobile to score at anytime (13/8 Paddy Power)