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Wingers hold key to Fiorentina and Napoli in Coppa Italia final

| 02.05.2014

Three of the four goals that have been scored in Serie A meetings between Coppa Italia finalists Fiorentina and Napoli came from wingers. Using width has certainly paid dividends for Vincenzo Montella and Rafa Benitez.

Coral make Napoli, who sit directly above the Florence outfit in Italy’s top-flight, the 5/4 favourites for cup glory. Montella and the Viola are 11/5 outsiders, despite beating the Neapolitan team away back in March. Napoli won the first meeting 2-1 in the autumn.

These markets are the result in 90 minutes, and punters may find the best value by betting on 9/4 for a draw – meaning there will be a minimum of an additional half hour to decide who lifts the Coppa Italia.

Fiorentina come into this final in far better form, having won three of their last four. It’s a solitary victory in as many outings for Benitez and Napoli. Montella has had to do without his strikeforce of Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez in the run-in too, making it all the more remarkable.

Both players have travelled to Rome, but their proven pedigree is no good without match fitness. Without them, it is tough to see where goals will come from on a big stage such as this.

Alessandro Matri should lead the Viola attack in the absence of Gomez and Rossi, but his respectable record of a goal every three games against Napoli is belied by the fact he only has one in his last six outings. Odds of 15/8 says he will be on target in the final.

Colombian wideman Juan Cuadrado is banned, so Peru international Juan Vargas and Joaquin Sanchez look set to occupy the flanks. The latter netted the winner in Naples in March, so back the former Spain international at 11/4 anytime.

Benitez can call on his top scorer Gonzalo Higuain here, and the Argentina striker is 11/10 for a goal, or a more attractive 4/1 to score first. He will be flanked by Spaniard Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens, who both have goals against Fiorentina to their credit this term and are 13/8 to get more again.

Punters can expect a close encounter and there may be fire here too. There have been three red cards in the Serie A meetings between these teams. A 1-0 win for either side looks tempting at 7/1 for Napoli and 9/1 for Fiorentina here.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.