Fiorentina are looking to make it back to European football after a two-year absence. Fiorentina have been a middle of the table team in Serie A for the last few years, and they are in the middle of the table again this year. They are in 10th place right now, but there have been indications that the team is ready to rise. They will look to start their ascent this Sunday when they head on the road to take on SPAL. Fiorentina are slight favorites in this game.
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SPAL vs. Fiorentina
- Date and Time: February 17, 2019, 12:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Stadio Paolo Mazza, Ferrara, Italy
- US Television Coverage: ESPN2
- Betting Line: Fiorentina PK and -0.5, O/U 2 and 2.5
The mission for SPAL is to continue to stay in Serie A in order to build up their coffers. SPAL have declared bankruptcy twice in the last 14 years, and they want to stay afloat to have the safety and security of Serie A. They are only four points clear of the drop at this moment, but there are three other teams between them and 18th place Empoli. SPAL have secured a result in three of their last four league matches, and they scored a great road win over Parma three weeks ago after erasing a 2-0 deficit with three goals in the final 20 minutes.
A goal differential of +8 should have Fiorentina higher in the table than where they are. Fiorentina are currently two points back of eighth place Torino, and they will be looking to make up that ground with a win here. They have been a force in recent weeks. Fiorentina hammered Roma 7-1 in the Coppa Italia Quarterfinals, and they are on a five-match result streak. When these teams met earlier in the year, Fiorentina had no problem taking care of business against SPAL. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead inside of 30 minutes, and they coasted to a 3-0 win. Fiorentina had 17 shots compared to just 7 for SPAL, and they had much better chances.
Fiorentina won’t have Kevin Mirallas available for this match. Mirallas suffered a calf injury last week against Napoli, and he has been ruled out for the next three weeks. As for SPAL, they will be without the services of Simone Missiroli. He has picked up a few too many yellow cards over the course of the season and will serve a one match suspension.
SPAL Player to Watch
Manuel Lazzari has been great at setting things up for SPAL. He is one of the league leaders in assists this season, and that’s impressive considering how few times SPAL have scored. Lazzari has assisted on seven of SPAL’s 20 goals, and he has teamed up very well with Andrea Petagna, especially in recent weeks. He has yet to score, but his passing has made him one of the team’s best.
Fiorentina Player to Watch
Marco Benassi is Fiorentina’s leading scorer this season. He has seven goals in 19 matches with the club, and he is not afraid to keep firing. Benassi has missed some matches due to discipline issues (he has five yellows and one red card on the year), and this will be his first match back since picking up a red card against Chievo.
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SPAL vs. Fiorentina Free Picks
I think this match will be higher scoring than the oddsmakers believe. SPAL have looked more lively on the attack in recent weeks, and Fiorentina’s stolid defense hasn’t been as good on the road. Fiorentina will get the three points and move up in the table, but this one will be hard fought.
SPAL vs. Fiorentina Prediction: Fiorentina 2, SPAL 1
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