After a ten-game stretch of eight draws and two defeats, Fiorentina seemingly emerged from their crisis with a resounding 3-1 win over neighbours Empoli last weekend.
This was the second consecutive match in which they had found the back of the net three times, their problems with scoring goals seemingly behind them.
It was no surprise that the end of the drought coincided with a return to form for striker Giovanni Simeone, his strikes in the last two matches having ended a barren run that stretched back to mid-September.
“These young lads may be young and carefree, but they are not irresponsible,” Coach Stefano Pioli told reporters after the match.
“We all felt troubled, because our last victory was all the way back in September. I wasn't expecting an easy encounter. The greatest risk was conceding first, and it happened, but then my boys reacted wonderfully. Today will serve to teach them a lot.”
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A much-needed three points was cause for celebration, however a tough task awaits this young Viola side as they travel to San Siro to face AC Milan on Saturday.
The Rossoneri have problems of their own though, last Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with struggling Bologna their second match in a row with this scoreline.
Furthermore, a red card for Tiemoue Bakayoko and a fifth yellow for Franck Kessie means that the pair will be suspended for the match with Fiorentina, leaving boss Gennaro Gattuso with hardly any options in the centre of the park.
Reports suggest that the boss is under mounting pressure to save his job and the fixture with Fiorentina is the first of three matches in which he is said to have been given to do so.
A look at the last six fixtures between this pair shows that Fiorentina have won just once, a 2-0 victory at the Stadio Artemio Franchi back in August 2015.
Two of those encounters were draws and Milan won the remaining three, including a 5-1 home triumph at the end of last season. With this in mind, Serie A betting fans can get odds of 13/10 on a Rossoneri win via BetVictor, but it’s worth taking note of the extenuating circumstances here.
0 - AC Milan have drawn nil-nil two consecutive Serie A games for the first time since October 2006. Empty.#BolognaMilan— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 18, 2018
Injuries to Giacomo Bonaventura and Lucas Biglia in addition to the aforementioned suspensions means that Gattuso – who reportedly wants to sign Cesc Fabregas in January – is without his entire first-choice midfield, an occurrence which will force the Coach into constructing a makeshift set-up.
This will do nothing to alleviate their recent goalscoring woes, and they will face a Fiorentina side that are on the up. Bet365 offer 12/5 on an away win, a good option with the recent trends taken into account.
The Viola have scored three goals in their last two matches, however facing Sassuolo and Empoli is an entirely different proposition than travelling to San Siro to face Milan.
Pioli’s side are only just emerging from a problem with scoring goals, while the Rossoneri have recorded back-to-back 0-0 draws for the first time in over 12 years.
“I think that when we play 4-4-2, we can become a bit predictable at times for the opposition,” admitted Gattuso when questioned on the lack of goals after Tuesday’s result.
When you play with two strikers, if they don’t make different movements to stretch out the opposition defence, it becomes impossible to break them down.”
With this in mind, it’s a good idea to back under 2.5 goals, leaving scope for a number of different results and one of these sides to demonstrate their return to form. You can back this outcome at 17/20 with 888Sport, something well worth considering here.
Simeone has returned to form with two goals in as many matches for Fiorentina, making him a good option to back at 37/20 to find the net anytime with 888Sport.
However, a better option can be found via former Everton winger Kevin Mirallas, who is in fine form at present. The experienced Belgian forced his way into the starting XI last weekend after a superb 97th minute equaliser versus Sassuolo in the previous round, and duly rewarded the Coach for his choice.
Looking nothing like the jaded player that left Merseyside under a cloud, a rejuvenated Mirallas followed that up with another fine strike in the 3-1 win over Empoli, delighting the home supporters.
At 9/1 to score first or last and 18/5to fire in anytime with 888Sport, backing him is a great choice for this match.Odds are subject to change
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