Fiorentina look to leapfrog Lazio in fight for European spots
The tussle for a prized Champions League place continues and could take an important twist this week in Serie A, as Lazio, 21/10 favourites with Coral to triumph, host rivals Fiorentina at the Stadio Olympico.
Neither side is currently in pole position, with Napoli stationed above them. However, next up, Rafa Benitez and his boys are at home to Inter Milan and, should they slip up, other challengers the Eagles and Viola can make up ground.
A draw is available at a tasty 12/5, but splitting the spoils would do neither side any good at this late stage of the season.
Lazio are just one point above Fiorentina, and three league wins on the bounce has put the Eternal City outfit back in the frame. Home advantage, plus just two defeats in their past nine duels with the Florentine team, mean everyone connected with the Eagles will be optimistic.
Potent predator Miroslav Klose is the most likely to pounce and pose problems for Neto in nets for the visitor. The formidable Poland-born German goal machine has struck twice in his last two Lazio games, so is a nifty 9/2 chance to have the final say, or 6/5 to hit home anytime.
Exciting Brazilian starlet Felipe Anderson was overlooked by Dunga for a Samba Boys squad call-up, but has been on target six times this term and has provided just as many assists, so back him 7/4 in the anytime market. Playmaker Antonio Candreva, meanwhile, is a superb 6/1 to open the scoring.
In a further boost for the Eagles, stopper Federico Marchetti could be available again, after sitting on the sidelines for the Coppa Italia clash with Napoli in midweek.
Vincenzo Montella’s men, meanwhile, may have one eye on the Europa League but, despite their continental and cup distractions, Viola are 13/5 to take all three points after increasing their unbeaten run to 13 games across all competitions.
Sinking Juventus 2-1 last time out in the Coppa Italia will have done wonders for morale, and Fiorentina will not want to miss this opportunity to dent the Eagles’ confidence.
Rampant Chelsea-owned wideman Mohamed Salah is Montella’s best chance to torment their hosts, after bagging a brace against the Old Lady.
Fleet-footed forward Salah has a fantastic five goals in his last four appearances, so the in-form Egyptian attacker is a promising punt at 8/1 to draw first blood, or 14/1 to score two or more again.
Former West Ham United man Alessandro Diamanti and Peru wingman Juan Vargas are also available to make an impact for Montella, and are 9/4 and 11/2 in the anytime market respectively.