Sunday, May 26, 2024

Prediction: Fiorentina vs Plzen

Verdict: Both teams score

Best odds: 1.97

Bookmaker: ZetBet

Following a goalless stalemate in the Czech Republic, Fiorentina will host Plzen at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in the decider for the semifinals of the Europa League qualification. Despite Fiorentina starting as favourites, the visitor’s European Cup experience could make the difference this time.

Fiorentina

The hosts’ recent drop following a series of unexpected negative results has put them in danger of finishing out of the top six at the end of the season. Furthermore, La Viola’s chances of improving their standings in the Serie A took a major hit due to the recent disappointing stalemate against Geno at Artemio Franchi (1-1).

However, Fiorentina can advance to the Europa League if they win the Italian Cup, a competition in which they are favourites to advance to the final game after a close victory over Atalanta in the first-leg home game. Still, this option doesn’t appear to have much of a chance either, with Juventus or Lazio on the other side of the board as potential opponents in the Coppa Italia final.

While Fiorentina has only lost once in the last five games at Artemio Franchi, Vincenzo Italiano’s team left their fans with a sour taste winning a single fixture in this period; 1-0 against Atalanta. The hosts must step up their game in April to prevent further decline that could send Viola crashing from Conference League and Coppa Italia during a week.

Team News

Centre forward M’Bala Nzola is a doubt due to a muscle injury. However, the medical staff is working on the clock to have him ready against Plzen, as Vincenzo Italiano needs a backup for out-of-form striker Andrea Belotti.

It is anticipated that Fiorentina would set up in an aggressive formation to score early in the game and relieve pressure on missing to advance further. La Viola, encouraged by their ardent supporters, will also set the play’s rhythm, with Plzen’s half anticipated to see most of the playtime.

Plzen

After a second-leg outcome that leaves the Czech team positioned to deliver a decisive blow to Fiorentina at the Artemio Franchi, Plzen will head to Italy in high spirits. Furthermore, building on last weekend’s home win against rival Slavia Prague (1-0), the visitors will look to replicate the same performance at Artemio Franchi and clinch a historic qualification to the Conference League semi-finals.

With remarkable performances this season Miroslav Koubek has introduced Plzen to the European football stage. Even though his side trails in the championship, rivals from Prague, Sparta and Slavia, the visiting squad started to build momentum following the Slavia Prague win.

Also, the victory over Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia demonstrated that Miroslav Koubek’s squad is a threat to major European teams this season. The only sides to defeat Plzen away from home are Sparta Prague and Slovan Liberec, impressive results that send a strong message of danger to Fiorentina.

Since only Sparta Praga and Slovan Liberec defeated Plzen on the road, the Czech squad is expected to hold the lines at Artemio Franchi and deliver the final bow to Fiorentina on the break.

Team News

Miroslav Koubek’s experience can turn around the shortage of having some key players injured. Left winger Jan Sykora is the latest addition to the injury list, the experienced player was ruled out with a knee injury.

Viktoria Plzen will attempt to replicate the match against Dinamo Zagreb when the Czechs scored on the break despite the Croatians’ clear superiority throughout the contest.

Key factors to consider

  • Fiorentina is in a free fall failing, winning a single match from their last seven (1-0 against Atalanta)
  • The hosts failed to lead after the 1st leg despite dominating much of the game played in the Czech Republic
  • Vincenzo Italiano’s striker performed abysmal in the latest games, netting a single time in the last three bouts
  • Plzen is one of the strongest teams in Europe this season  in the games played on the road
  • The Czech outfit knocked out Croatian heavyweights Dinamo Zagreb
  • The visitors won more games on the road this season than the hosts won on Artemio Franchi

Conclusion

Fiorentina is the early favourite to defeat Plzen and go to the competition’s semifinal. Nevertheless, the visitors consistently demonstrated their mettle by defeating opponents like Dinamo Zagreb. La Viola is anticipated to get off to a fast start leaving open spaces with opportunities for both teams to score.

Verdict: Both teams score

Best odds: 1.97

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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