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Fiorentina vs. Viktoria Plzen: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

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    Viktoria Plzeň

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      Overview

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        • (94') N. González
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          Fiorentina vs. Viktoria Plzen: Preview, Prediction & Betting Tips

          The upcoming second leg of the Europa Conference League quarter-final between ACF Fiorentina and FC Viktoria Plzeň holds significant weight for both clubs involved. With the tie poised delicately following a 0-0 draw in the first leg, both teams have everything to play for in this crucial match. As the two sides prepare to clash this Thursday, let’s delve into their current standings, historical contexts, and what this match could potentially mean for each club.

          Date: 18/04/2024

          Kick-off time: 17:45

          Location: Stadio Artemio Franchi

          ACF Fiorentina, currently sitting 10th in Serie A with 43 points, have had a season that meets the expectations of both fans and pundits alike. Despite their mid-table positioning, they have maintained a solid form domestically. However, there's an overarching feeling that to transform this season from a mundane to a memorable one, improvements are necessary—especially in consistency and seizing opportunities in key matches.

          The Florence-based club, led by Vincenzo Italiano, are still nursing the wounds from last season’s Europa Conference League final, where they were narrowly defeated 2-1 by West Ham United. That dramatic match saw them concede a heart-breaking winner by Jarrod Bowen. This year, their main ambition is clear: to go one step further and clinch the trophy that eluded them so narrowly. This drive is partly fueled by a unique yet somewhat undesirable accolade; Fiorentina holds the distinction of having finished as runners-up in all three of UEFA’s current major club tournaments without ever winning one, the only side to do so.

          Their squad, bolstered by the talents of Argentine forward Nicolás González and defender Lucas Martínez, is more than capable of making a deep run in the competition. Their tactical setup under Italiano often showcases flexibility in attack with a disciplined defensive structure, providing them a solid foundation to build on their ambitions.

          On the other hand, FC Viktoria Plzeň, the third-place occupants in the Czech First League, find themselves in a different situation. With 56 points and trailing the league leaders Sparta Prague by a substantial margin, their domestic title hopes are realistically over for the season. This context shifts their focus entirely towards the European stage, where they have a chance to make history.

          Managed by Miroslav Koubek, Viktoria Plzeň approach this match knowing that their path forward is steep. They must secure a victory in Italy against Fiorentina—a daunting task, yet not insurmountable. No Czech club has ever lifted a major European trophy, so the stakes and the potential for a historic triumph are incredibly high for Plzeň. Such a victory would not only advance them to the semi-finals but also etch their name in the annals of European football.

          Plzeň’s approach to the game will likely be one of calculated risks. Knowing that a draw (other than 0-0, which would take the match to extra time) or a loss would see them eliminated, they might opt for an assertive strategy. This could involve high pressing and quick transitions to catch Fiorentina off guard, leveraging any opportunities that come their way.

          The first leg of this quarter-final was marked by a lack of goals but not necessarily a lack of action. Both teams demonstrated solid defensive organisations, but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities. This second leg presents a chance for both teams to adjust their strategies.

          For Fiorentina, the key might lie in exploiting the flanks, utilizing Nicolás González’s pace and skill to challenge Plzeň’s full-backs. Lucas Martínez will be crucial in marshalling the defence and ensuring that Plzeň’s forays into their half are contained.

          Plzeň, meanwhile, will rely heavily on tactical discipline and the hope of capitalising on any set-piece situations. They will need to be wary of not committing too many men forward, knowing that Fiorentina can punish them on the counter-attack.

          For Fiorentina, this game is about redemption and potentially ending a long wait for a European trophy. For Viktoria Plzeň, it represents a chance to achieve something unprecedented in Czech football history.

          As Thursday approaches, both sets of fans will be filled with anticipation and hope. This clash, set against the picturesque backdrop of Florence, is a narrative of dreams, ambitions, and the relentless pursuit of glory. The stage is set for a dramatic encounter, and whatever the outcome, it promises to be a fixture rich in drama and emotion.

          Fiorentina To Win

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          Fiorentina To Win @ 4/11
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          Both Teams To Score

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          Fiorentina To Win Both Halves

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          Fiorentina To Win Both Halves @ 5/2
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          Team News

          Fiorentina Team News:

          Vincenzo Italiano is coming into this game with a fully fit squad at his disposal.

          We aren't likely to see many changes from last week's starting XI, if any, but if any are to be made then right-back Michael Kayode could come in for Dodô.

          Viktoria Plzeň Team News:

          Like their opponents, the Czech side aren't likely to make many alternations to their starting lineup after going toe to toe with Fiorentina last week.

          The Czech side are fairly injury-riddled so wholesale aren't really much of an option, with Erik Jirka, Rafiu Durosinmi, Matej Valenta, Jan Sykora and Jhon Mosquera all set to miss out through injury.

          Form Guide

          On the whole, Fiorentina aren't amidst a particularly good run of form as they enter this game having won just one of their last five games, though they have had a pretty tough run. Prior to the 0-0 draw with Viktoria Plzeň, Fiorentina lost 1-0 to Juventus, 2-1 to Milan and drew 1-1 with Maccabi Haifa - with the caveat being the draw with Maccabi Haifa was a game they did not need to win as they had a 4-3 lead from the first leg of that Europa Conference League last 16 tie.

          Amidst those results, Fiorentina did claim a very impressive 1-0 win over Atalanta in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semi-final, with a goal from Rolando Mandragola giving them a win they fully deserved having been the better side for the majority of the game

          Viktoria Plzeň's form has been mixed, with the Czech side having won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five games. At the weekend, Viktoria played the role of party spoiler as they beat Slavia Prague 1-0 thanks to an 87th-minute winner from Pavel Šulc, a goal that significantly hampers Slavia's title hopes while not really raising the hopes of Viktoria.

          That result was preceded by a 0-0 draw with Karviná, a 3-0 win away at Jablonec and a 1-3 loss to Slovan Liberec.

          Away from home Viktoria have been pretty convincing in recent weeks, as they come into this game having won three and drawn two of their last five games.

          Footy Accumulators Prediction

          If Viktoria Plzeň were going to progress from this tie then they probably had to take a lead from the first leg. Ultimately, they probably have too much to do against a higher quality and more European savvy side in Fiorentina who have recent experience of navigating these ties. Without too much issue, the Italians should book their place in the semi-finals of this competition. Fiorentina 2-0 Viktoria Plzeň.

          Don’t forget to check out the rest of our previews, tips and offers for this weekend’s action. Footy Accumulators is the #1 football betting site for the latest on betting in the UK - download the Betting Hub app for more!

          Header logoSerie A

          PosClubPWDLGDPTS
          7
          Team logoLazio
          3718613+1060
          8
          Team logoFiorentina
          3615912+1354
          9
          Team logoTorino
          37131410+353
          Last updated 20/05/2024

          Header logoCzech First League - Regular Season

          PosClubPWDLGDPTS
          2
          Team logoSlavia
          302262+3972
          3
          Team logoViktoria Plzeň
          301956+3462
          4
          Team logoBaník
          3013611+945
          Last updated 20/05/2024

          Where To Watch

          This game will be aired live for all subscribed U.K. viewers on TNT Sports 4.

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