Fiorentina’s focus is on Sevilla rather than Juventus


Juventus could clinch the Italian Serie A title if results in the 33rd round of matches go its way and one thinks that Juve are over the odds at -137 with Betfred and BetVictor to do their bit by beating Fiorentina at home.

Wednesday’s Italian Serie A game between top-ranked Juventus and sixth-placed Fiorentina has the makings of a home banker given the motivations of the two teams. Juventus could wrap up its 31 Italian Serie A championship and it is coming off a first derby defeat to Torino in 20 years after Andrea Pirlo shinned a great chance to equalise in stoppage time. Fiorentina has dropped the ball, so to speak, in Italian Serie A over the last few weeks as it concentrates on the UEFA Europa League in which it is a semi-final qualifier.

Maybe Fiorentina is not running dead in Italian Serie A now that its chance of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League via the league is as good as gone but one finds it hard to believe that it is in the right frame of mind to get the better of Juventus at its eponymous stadium for the second time in two months. Fiorentina defeated Juventus 2-1 in the first leg of their Italian Coppa Italia semi-final tie but Juve righted that wrong with a 3-0 second-leg success. And there is the Italian Serie A home record of Juventus, which reads a crazy 40 wins and four draws from its last 44 games.

One is sure that Juventus would like to secure the Italian Serie A title before it encounters Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and, irrespective of what goes on in other matches, victories for Juve over Fiorentina and Sampdoria in their next two league games would do the trick. And one is almost as sure that Fiorentina would like to go into its UEFA Europa League semi-final versus Sevilla with fewer niggles than the defending champion. Sevilla is right in the mix for one of the Spanish Primera Division’s UEFA Champions League berths, whereas Fiorentina is putting all its eggs in one basket given the Italian Serie A ladder.

Napoli, Verona and Cagliari were winless in five, three and 11 Italian Serie A matches before beating Fiorentina so one is keen on backing Juventus at -137 for a home success.

No other Italian Serie A bet gets close to Juventus in terms of appeal, with the next best punt being over two and a half goals in Thursday’s game between Empoli and Napoli, an exotic play that is available at odds of -118 with Bwin.

Overall Italian Serie A statistics do not point to the bet – 13 of Empoli’s 32 league matches have gone over two and a half goals and Napoli’s strike rate is 17 out of 32 – but the reverse divisional fixture resulted in a 2-2 draw, both sides are on run of high-scoring competition games and the ladder enables 16th-placed Empoli to play with a degree of freedom and forces fourth-ranked Napoli to go for broke.

Finally, not even Lazio’s lengthy absentee list should stop it accruing three Italian Serie A points from its home match against Parma, which could be relegated on Wednesday. Parma is 15 points adrift of 17th-placed Atalanta with six rounds remaining so the end is nigh for the hugely troubled team.

Several bookmakers, including Bet365, Boylesports and Coral, are offering odds of -400 about Lazio defeating Parma and tightening its grip on second position in the tournament.

Tips Summary

Juventus to beat Fiorentina
29th April 19:45 GMT
Odds:  -137
Where to Bet: Betfred, BetVictor

Empoli v Napoli Over 2.5 goals
30th April 19:45 GMT
Odds:  -118
Where to Bet: BwinWilliamHill

Lazio to beat Parma
29th April 19:45 GMT
Odds:  -400
Where to Bet: Bet365, BoylesportsCoral

Andrea Pirlo
Serie A
Spanish Primera Division
UEFA Europa League

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