Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Prediction: Fiorentina vs Napoli

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 9 Feb 2019

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Verdict: Fiorentina win 

Best Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Simply looking to close the gap on Juventus, Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli side will travel to a revitalized Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday evening.

Fiorentina

Staring with the hosts, after putting seven past Roma and booking their spot in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia, the mood in Stefano Pioli’s side should be on a high. Also picking up a point away at Udinese over the weekend and extending their unbeaten run to six matches, the Purples should be confident of booking European football this season. If Fiorentina are to extend their impressive form on Friday, then Pioli will be looking for midfielder Marco Benassi to carry on his start to the New Year. The 24-year-old has now bagged two in his last two and is gaining a long list of admirers around the Stadio Artemio Franchi. While Fiorentina may have recorded 12 goals in just their last three outings, Viola will need to improve on their recent defensive issues. The hosts have now recorded just one clean sheet in their last six Serie A outings.

Team News

Fiorentina almost have a full squad to choose from, although they are missing Marco Benassi through suspension.

Napoli

As for the visitors, picking up a much-needed 3-0 win over Sampdoria last time out, Carlo Ancelotti got the response he needed after crashing out of the Coppa Italia at the San Siro last week. Now sat nine points adrift of runaway leaders Juventus, the former Real Madrid boss will know that Napoli must improve on their worrying showings away from the Stadio San Paolo if they are to pull off a shocking late title push. The Blues have now failed to win any of their last three matches on the road, a run that stems back to the middle of December. Even more worrying for Gli Azzurri, they have found the net on the road just once in over 450 minutes of action. Along with Ancelotti coming under his first wave of criticism since taking over in Castel Volturno, Napoli have bad memories on their previous travels to the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Back in April of 2018, their last trip to Fiorentina, Napoli slumped to a 3-0 defeat.

Team News

Napoli will be without both Vlad Chiriches and Amin Younes due to respective injuries; while Marek Hamsik is also unlikely to feature after his reported move to China fell through.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last time the two sides met at the Stadio Artemio Franchi Fiorentina picked up a 3-0 win.
  • Napoli have failed to win any of their last three matches on the road, they have also failed to score in any of those outings.
  • Fiorentina are unbeaten in their last six matches across all competitions.
  • They have also now scored 10 goals in their last two matches at home.
  • The last four matches have seen only one team score at full time.

Conclusion

Although Carlo Ancelotti’s side might travel to Stadio Artemio Franchi as the bookmakers favourite, it is hard to look past Napoli’s recent struggles on the road. With Fiorentina picking up a definitive victory the last time the two sides met in Florence, we’re backing Saturday’s resurgent hosts to cause another upset.

Verdict: Fiorentina win 

Best Odds: 13/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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