Apr 23, 2015 at 8.05pm UK
Dynamo Kiev
Gomez (43'), Vargas (94')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Fiorentina vs. Dynamo Kiev

:Headline: Preview: Fiorentina vs. Dynamo Kiev: ID:218482: from db_amp
Sports Mole looks ahead to Fiorentina's visit of Dynamo Kiev as both sides battle for a semi-final spot in the Europa League.

Fiorentina host Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League on Thursday with the added boost of knowing that the club has never lost a quarter-final tie in this competition.

However, with the aggregate score at 1-1, the Ukrainian giants will travel to Italy optimistic that they can pile more misery on their Italian counterparts in a testing few weeks for them.


The omens favour La Viola, who have never lost a quarter-final tie in this competition and boast a nine-game unbeaten streak against Ukrainian opposition.

Furthermore, they bring a potentially decisive away goal into Stadio Artemio Franchi thanks to Khouma Babacar's stoppage-time equaliser in Kiev.

Despite some signs pointing to a place in the last four, though, Vincenzo Montella's side suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to Hellas Verona on Monday - a result that could yet have a knock-on effect for their European ambitions.

It was their second straight league defeat and the wheels appear to be coming loose at precisely the wrong moment for Fiorentina, who will only have three days in which to recover from that setback against Hellas.

Their Coppa Italia exit at the hands of Juventus earlier this month places added importance on what happens this Thursday, with the Europa League representing their last chance of silverware and Champions League qualification by virtue of their eight-point deficit from the top three. Their season may just hinge on winning this competition.

Recent form: LDWDWD
Recent form (all competitions): DWLLDL

Dynamo Kiev

With 23 goals, Dynamo, along with Napoli, are the highest-scoring team remaining in the competition and optimism will be high ahead of their trip to Italy.

They were just two minutes away from securing a 1-0 first-leg advantage until Babacar struck in the closing stages to change the complexion of the tie.

It was undoubtedly a better result for the visitors courtesy of the away goal, but Serhiy Rebrov's side are no strangers to a first-leg setback, having lost their opening games to Guingamp and Everton in the previous two rounds before ultimately flipping the tie on its head.

Back in February, they went down 2-1 at Guingamp before progressing with a 4-3 aggregate victory, and it was a similar story on Merseyside; losing the first leg 2-1 but an emphatic 5-2 second-leg response saw them advance into the quarters for the first time in four years.

Babacar's late equaliser will have undoubtedly hurt but it is a pain that they have already managed thus far and both sides will go into Thursday knowing that the tie is far from over.

Recent form: WLWLWD
Recent form (all competitions): DWWDDW

Team News

Babacar could miss the conclusion of a tie that he potentially saved for Fiorentina last week, with a knee injury possibly ruling him out.

Milan Badelj and David Pizarro are also injury doubts for Montella, with Giuseppe Rossi the only player who definitely won't make an appearance.

Meanwhile, injury will also see Yevhen Makarenko play no part on Thursday, but Miguel Veloso could return after missing out last week.

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Neto, Rodriguez, Savic, Alonso, Tomovic, Badelj, Fernandez, Joaquin, Valero, Gomez, Salah

Dynamo Kiev possible starting lineup:
Shovkovskiy, Silva, Antunes, Dragovic, Khacheridi, Sydorchuk, Rybalka, Buyalskiy, Lens, Yarmolenko, Teodorczyk

Head To Head

Both sides had met four times in a competitive setting prior to last week's stalemate, with Fioretina winning two and drawing two - a 1-0 aggregate win in the UEFA Cup back in 1989, followed by a 2-1 victory over both legs in the 1969 edition of the European Cup.

We say: Fiorentina 2-1 Dynamo Kiev

Despite a rough few weeks, Fiorentina are a resilient bunch and we reckon that they should have just enough on the night to edge past their Ukrainian counterparts.

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