Free Soccer Pick: Back Fiorentina to Win Europa League's First Leg Over Dynamo Kyiv

Nikki Adams

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 6:53 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 2015 6:53 PM UTC

Dynamo Kyiv & Fiorentina collide in Euro League quarterfinal action, all while looking to keep their hopes of European grandeur alive. We preview this cracker of a matchup, complete with soccer picks.

Dynamo Kyiv upset Everton
Dynamo Kyiv's upset over Everton sent seismic shockwaves through UEFA Europa League betting odds markets and throughout the UK proper. "Death of English Football," screamed the headlines following Everton's 5-2 defeat in Ukraine's capital, which turned Everton's 2-1 lead after the first leg on its head (Dynamo won 6-4 on aggregate). It was grim reading all around, with UK reporters referring to it as a "ghastly night," and suggesting the Premier League anthem be switched to the death march after yet another Barclay's Premier League darling capitulated in Europe's prestigious club competitions.

As ghastly as the night was for Premier League fans, it was a magical night for Ukrainian football and fans. Dynamo Kyiv burst out of the blocks. They were ruthless, efficient and energetic, intent on seizing the tie from Everton's flimsy grasp. And so they did, all while scoring five goals and inflicting one of the worst defeats on Everton in European football. The scary thought: they easily could have scored more against the porous Everton defence.

Dynamo Kyiv's latest win in the competition is a natural extension of their sublime form in the competition. They finished group play atop Group J with a 5-0-1 record and 15 points and they scored 12 goals and conceded just 4. The only hiccup through the knockout qualification process was a 3-0 loss to AaB on the away.

In the knockouts, Dynamo Kyiv overcame French side Guingamp 4-3 on aggregate. They lost the first leg 2-1 on the away, but won the second leg 3-1 at home. The ensuing R16 mirrored their R32 clash in that they lost the first leg in Liverpool 2-1, only to rescue the tie with a superior showing on home turf. Clearly, the Ukrainians fancy their chances on home turf.

For the quarterfinals, the script has been flipped on the Ukrainians: they start their tie against Fiorentina at home as the notional favourites at +140 odds. It remains to be seen if this new dynamic to their European campaign in the knockouts makes a difference over the course of two legs.

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Fiorentina Embarrass Roma
La Viola descended on the nation's capital only to serve Roma an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at the Olimpico in the second leg of their Europa League R16 tie (Fiorentina win 4-1 on aggregate).

It was the manner of Giallorossi's elimination from Europa League that was the most frustrating as it took just 22 minutes for Roma to concede three goals and, thereby, surrender a position of some comfort following the 1-1 draw in the first leg.  Apparently angry fans demanded players remove their Roma kit after the game, deeming they weren't worthy of wearing them.

To be fair, La Viola entered this tie severely underestimated across sports betting platforms. Although their group campaign boasted a solid enough 4-1-1 account (2-0-1 at home and 1-1-1 away), they weren't given a fair chance against Roma by the soccer odds makers. Nevertheless, they punched above their weight class and handed the highly-favoured Roma side a defeat they aren't going to forget soon.

In many ways, Fiorentina's win shouldn't be too surprising. Since the New Year they've upped the ante across the board. They are in hot pursuit of one of the coveted European spots in the domestic table (currently ranked sixth in the table after a 2-2 draw to Udinese in the last lap of Serie A betting); they are in pole position to win Coppa Italia after taking the first leg 2-1 over Juventus on the away; and their European campaign is alive and well.

Whether they can continue this form with the amount of campaigns that are alive on multiple fronts remains to be seen. They enter the first leg as the slight underdogs at +190 soccer odds while the draw is trading at +230 soccer odds.


Soccer Betting Verdict
This is the first knockout tie Dynamo Kyiv begin at home, which can be deemed a bit of a disadvantage in the broad spectrum of the two-legs. Then again, they fancy their chances on home turf, which makes them a good soccer pick at +140 to win outright.

Then again, in this case, it might not be so straightforward. There are those soccer bettors that would argue Fiorentina is a higher class opponent. The sort Dynamo Kyiv have avoided up to this point in the competition, but can't possibly continue to do so. Everton was there for the taking when one considers their woeful Premier League form. By contrast, Fiorentina's form this season is something to contend with in all competitions (as mentioned above).

What's more, Fiorentina's road form in the knockouts of Europa League betting has been quite good. They held Tottenham to a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane in the R32 before winning the tie behind a 2-0 win at home. They also beat Roma 3-0 in the R16 after settling for a 1-1 draw at home in the first leg. That alone makes Fiorentina worth the tickle on your soccer picks at +190 to expose  Dynamo Kyiv or, at the very least, the draw at +230.

For our money, we're leaning towards La Viola on our soccer picks. Dynamo Kyiv have exceeded expectations to reach the quarterfinals and they deserve all the plaudits coming their way for that accomplishment. In Fiorentina, however, they'll face a side that represents a higher class of European football. Getting past La Viola is going to be a big ask, in our opinion.

That said, we've got another soccer betting angle for neutral soccer bettors or those that are simply torn about this matchup. Let's face it, short of a crystal ball, it's impossible to predict with any certainty what's going to happen on the field on any given match day. Instead of attempting a prediction on the winner's market, therefore, we're turning to the total betting markets which offer a great angle for profit. Considering the splurge of goals in Kiev over the course of the knockouts, we're frankly surprised the Over 2.5 is priced at +120 soccer odds. It practically leaps off the page as the best soccer pick of the lot.

Soccer Picks: Fiorentina +190 to win first leg; Over 2.5 at +120 at Bet365

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