Fiorentina v Dynamo Kiev
Thursday April 23, 20:05
Live on ITV 4
Dynamo Kiev were desperately close to claiming a first-leg advantage last week, before Khouma Boubacar’s stoppage-time strike forced a 1-1 draw in Ukraine. Heartbreaking for Dynamo, and for me, as I’d tipped the home win. It’s lucky I don’t have a cat to kick.
However, I believe there’s a chance for revenge in Florence. Although Fiorentina’s late equaliser was fully deserved, as La Viola had put on plenty of late pressure, I think this tie is still much tighter than the market is suggesting.
Fiorentina are a prohibitively short [1.41] in the To Qualify market, and that could partially be based on the fact Dynamo have lost both of their away games in the knockout rounds. While I can understand that logic, this time Dynamo have something to chase, and the fact they haven’t drawn a blank in an away game since October leads me to believe they can score at least one away goal.
In the Coppa Italia recently, Fiorentina secured a first-leg win against Juventus in Turin, only to blow it with a 3-0 second-leg reverse at home. Since then they have been bashed 3-0 at Napoli and lost 1-0 at home to lowly Hellas Verona in Serie A.
In theory Fiorentina could sneak through with a goalless draw, but Vincenzo Montella’s men aren’t that type of team, and they have kept just three clean sheets in their last 15 outings at the Artemio Franchi. Dynamo have dangerous attacking players like Andriy Yarmolenko and Artem Kravets, who scored twice in the weekend’s 3-1 win at Volyn, and I think they can cause Fiorentina’s defence a few problems.
Last week’s Fiorentina hero Babacar is out for the rest of the campaign and there’s an injury doubt over midfielder David Pizarro, while Dynamo are without suspended defender Aleksandar Dragovic and probably injured midfielder Miguel Veloso.
I’ve admittedly had a mixed record with Fiorentina in this competition, successfully backing them to qualify against Roma, but wrongly opposing them against Spurs. This time I think the two sides are evenly matched, and Fiorentina’s recent form (especially that collapse against a weakened Juventus) simply doesn’t justify that [1.41] price to reach the semis.
Given Dynamo’s attacking potential and the fact Fiorentina have a leaky defence, I also wouldn’t put you off backing Yes in the Both Teams to Score market at [1.91].
Back Dynamo Kiev to qualify at [3.3]
2014/15 Europa League P/L (1 pt per bet)
Points Staked: 82
Points Returned: 82.69
P/L: +0.69 points