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Fiorentina has gone four games without a win but one expects Vincenzo Montella’s team to bounce back to winning ways with a UEFA Europa League victory over Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday.
First, one will address Fiorentina’s recent results. Losing 0-3 to both Juventus and Napoli was not ideal for Fiorentina but one must remember that its conquerors are two of Italian Serie A’s top four sides and, quite possibly, the best two teams in the division on their day. And one is willing to put a pen through Fiorentina’s 0-1 Italian Serie A home loss to Verona on Monday because Montella picked a second-string side so that his star men would be fresh for the challenge facing them in the UEFA Europa League versus Dynamo Kyiv.
Now to dissect the UEFA Europa League quarter-final first leg between Dynamo Kyiv and Fiorentina in Ukraine. It took a Khouma Babacar goal in stoppage time for Fiorentina to earn a 1-1 draw at Dynamo Kyiv but the Italian Serie A team was on top until the home side went ahead against the run of play and, by the time the final whistle, most of the key statistics favoured the visitor. Anything less than a 1-1 draw would have been unfair given Fiorentina’s performance.
That Dynamo Kyiv has made it to the UEFA Europa League last eight has had little to do with its away form, with its five road matches resulting in comfortable wins over European minnows Rio Ave and Steaua Bucaresti but losses to AaB, Everton and Guincamp. One would rank Fiorentina at least on par with Everton and well ahead of Dynamo Kyiv’s other UEFA Europa League adversaries so the Ukrainian Premier League leader has every right to be nervous about its Italian trip.
Betfred and Coral are listing odds of -125 about Fiorentina beating Dynamo Kyiv in normal time and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League semi-finals. The state of the tie means that Dynamo Kyiv cannot park the bus – it must score or it is guaranteed to exit – so Fiorentina will not have to make all of the running itself and the underdog could be a bit distracted by its upcoming Ukrainian Premier League championship decider at second-placed Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Ukrainian Premier League team that is most likely to make the UEFA Europa League last four is Dnipro, which is fighting with Club Brugge after the first leg of their tie resulted in a 0-0 draw in Belgium. Dnipro had the better of last week’s clash, firing off double the number of attempts that Club Brugge managed and, if it has not been for home goalkeeper Mat Ryan, the away side would have broken the deadlock and possibly scored two or three goals. Ryan underlined his growing international reputation with a series of saves to deny Dnipro in the latter stages.
Coral is offering odds of +110 that Dnipro wins its UEFA Europa League quarter-final second leg versus Club Brugge without the need for extra time and/or penalties. One does not fancy Dnipro to go all the way in the tournament – it is in the weakest last-eight tie – but one thinks that it is a decent bet to make the last four, which would be its finest achievement in any UEFA-organised competition ever.
Finally, Wolfsburg may be worth a small bet at odds of +220 with BetVictor to beat Napoli in Italy in what shapes as a UEFA Europa League dead rubber. Napoli is 4-1 to the good following last week’s quarter-final first leg in Germany, which means that the Italian Serie A team would have to concede at least four normal-time goals in front of its own fans to face elimination. No side has rescued a UEFA tie from the position in which Wolfsburg finds itself after 90 minutes but the Wolves are attack minded and Napoli coach Rafa Benitez is known for his pragmatism in such situations. One would not be at all surprised if Napoli played well within itself and had more than one eye on the Italian Serie A ladder because, with seven rounds remaining and Lazio having to play Roma, there is hope for Benitez’s team in the race for the top three.
Dnipro to beat Club Brugges
23rd April 20:05 GMT
Where to Bet: Coral
Wolfsburg to beat Napoli
23rd April 20:05 GMT
Where to Bet: BetVictor
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