Free-scoring Kiev could yet oust the Viola
Fiorentina earned a creditable draw with Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine last week but are now without a win in four so progress into the last four for Vincenzo Montella’s men is hardly guaranteed.
Monday’s home loss to Verona saw Fiorentina drop out of the Europa League places for next season in Serie A so they will be desperate to get a positive result against Dynamo in the Stadio Artemio Franchi.
You could almost argue that this match is the last throw of the dice for Fiorentina in a disappointing campaign. Winning the Europa League would, of course, render their finishing position in Serie A immaterial as they would automatically gain a place in the Champions League. But they’ve been out of sorts for a while and Dynamo are dangerous opponents.
Sergei Rebrov’s men should have won the first leg and haven’t lost since going down narrowly in the first leg of the round of 16 against Everton at Goodison Park. They blew away Roberto Martinez’ team in the return leg with Andriy Yarmolenko well to the fore.
The Viola are likely to be without striker Khouma El Babacar – scorer of their last-gasp equaliser in the first leg – who is suffering from a twisted knee. Midfielder Milan Badelj and David Pizzaro are also doubts. Dynamo can’t play Aleksandar Dragovic in the Stadio Artemio Franchi as he’s suspended and midfielder Miguel Veloso will have to pass a late fitness test.
Dynamo nearly always score so Fiorentina may well have to win this second leg and that may prove beyond them given their poor recent form. The Ukrainian champions-elect could be the value on the handicap, therefore, at 11/10 getting a goal start. Both teams to score is 5/6.
The match kicks off at 8.05pm on Thursday, April 23 at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Firenze.