Babacar’s late leveller puts Viola on front foot ahead of second leg
Europa League third-favourites Fiorentina (4/1) hold the edge over Dynamo Kiev coming into this quarter-final second leg, after Senegalese substitute striker Khouma El Babacar grabbed a late equaliser to make the score 1-1.
That crucial away goal puts Viola on the front foot to qualify for the semis, and they are now odds-on favourites at 4/11 with Coral to do so. They must do so without scorer Babacar, however, who is injured.
Fiorentina, who have knocked out the likes of Tottenham and Roma to get to this stage, are also odds-on at 4/5 to win in Florence.
The last time this duo faced each other here, way back in 1969, it ended in a 0-0 draw, which would be enough to see the hosts through. That scoreline once more is priced at 11/1.
Vincenzo Montella’s men are in desperate need of a confidence boost too, after recently losing to Verona in Serie A, which has seen them drop out of the European places. But by winning this competition, they will qualify for the Champions League next season.
Speaking ahead of the clash with Kiev, captain Manuel Pasqual said: “We had closed Verona out, but in the end we left them space to mount a counter attack where they played to their strengths.
“We will need everyone to be here at the end. We want to move forward in the Europa League. Everyone would like to see us win the game.
“We continue to work. We always want to win. We must go through for sure. We have to react. We have to get onto the field to win Thursday [April 23rd]. With Dynamo [we] will play our game.”
In Babacar’s absence, the hosts will still be able to rely on star forwards such as Mario Gomez and Mohamed Salah, who are 6/4 and 2/1 chances respectively to net anytime here.
For visitors Dynamo, meanwhile, their main man will be Ukraine attacker Andriy Yarmolenko, who is a 14/5 chance in the anytime market. Goalscorer in the first leg Jeremain Lens is priced the same.
Their team is 15/8 to cause a shock and qualify for the semis, while they are 7/2 to win in 90 minutes.