FOLLOWING on from another profitable weekend on the continent, we asked European football fanatic Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) to find us the best bets from Monday night’s Serie A offering.
Fiorentina v Hellas Verona | Monday 19.45 | BT Sport 1
Khouma Babacar kept Fiorentina’s Europa League dreams alive with a 92nd minute overhead kick equaliser at Dynamo Kiev on Thursday night. It was a dramatic and tie-changing moment that could have positive knock-on effects on Vincenzo Montella’s men for Monday night’s return to league action.
La Viola are back in Florence to entertain struggling Verona at the Artemio Franchi and should be expected to brush aside their visitors with relative ease. Montella will no doubt have eyes on Thursday’s second leg against Kiev but the hosts are unbeaten at home in Serie A since November (W4-D4-L0) and come up against a Hellas side haemorrhaging goals.
Andrea Mandorlini’s Gialloblu have leaked at least twice in five of their last six on the road and make the journey having W0-D1-L2 in their previous three outings. Hellas aren’t in immediate relegation danger but do boast the division’s third worst defence and after opening their campaign with back-to-back clean sheets on their travels, have kept just one in their last 13 away.
Fiorentina have an almost fully fit squad to choose from and although they’ve struggled to assert themselves in the past fortnight, there’s a big suspicion that morale and confidence will be flowing through the Viola veins after Thursday’s dramatic finale. At 1/2, Montella’s men are too short to back but Betway are giving us the option to support the hosts with Over 2.5 Goals at 21/20.
Since Montella took the reigns at the Artemio Franchi, Fiorentina have W28-D14-L10 on home soil – that’s a 54% win rate. Across those same 54 fixtures, La Viola have also seen Over 2.5 Goals bank on 28 occasions with only two shutouts earned over the past nine league matches.
Those figures should encourage Mandorlini’s visitors to attack their hosts on Monday night. Luca Toni continues to defy his critics and remains central to the Gialloblu’s frontline but it’s Verona’s counter-attacking game that could cause Fiorentina the most problems. In 34 away Serie A games under Mandorlini’s charge, Hellas have only failed to find the net 12 times with 22/34 (65%) featuring three goals or more and 17/34 (50%) ending in defeat.
Fiorentina v Hellas Verona – Fiorentina to win and Over 2.5 Goals (21/20 Betway)
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