Soccer Pick: Europa League Semifinals Sevilla vs. Fiorentina

Nikki Adams

Monday, May 11, 2015 7:07 PM GMT

Defending champions Sevilla are cruising to a second straight Europa League final. Can they finish the job in the second leg of their tie with Fiorentina? Here's our soccer pick.

Sevilla Win First Leg Convincingly
Sevilla stunned Fiorentina 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final tie last Thursday, moving ever closer to the final. The challenge to retain their European crown was the talking point from the start of the competition because a) logistically, Europe's second-tier club competition plays one round (or two matches) more than Champions League,; and b) it's not happened in almost a decade that a side has successfully defended its title in back-to-back seasons.

That said – and this is the ironic bit – the last team to pull off the double was Sevilla in when they won back-to-back titles in 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. Of course, this isn't the same instalment of the team ten years on. But knowing that in your club history the feat was accomplished is only going to be a source of inspiration for this group of lads.

Through the rounds, odds makers haven't looked favourably upon Sevilla. That's not to say, they were long shots per say, rather that they were an outside bet. Down on the shortlist of favourites, behind teams such as Roma, Wolfsburg, Zenit St. Petersburg and Roma, to name a few. For instance, in the R16, they were matched at +1000 to win it all.

Of this quartet, only Napoli are still alive in the competition. What's more,  going into the first leg of the semi-final, it was the Italian side that was trading at the top of the Europa League odds board, favoured to win it all at +138. At the same time, Sevilla were the second favourites at +225 futures odds to win it all. 

Fast forward to this week and it's Sevilla at the top of the Europa League soccer odds board, trading comfortably at -138 futures odds to win outright. Well, over Even money and seemingly in the driver's seat. How quickly things can change.

Granted the 3-0 win at home over Fiorentina compared to Napoli's finely poised 1-1 draw with Dnipro changed the soccer betting outlook for Europe's second tier competition dramatically. But, it has to be said that throughout the competition, Sevilla have lived up to their billing as the defending champions. Playing some sensational football that has been both exhilarating and disciplined.

In short, they are finally receiving the respect they deserve in soccer betting markets. It remains to be seen whether they can pull off the momentous double and match their predecessors. As it is, they are matched as the whopping -5000 favourites to advance into the final.


 

Fiorentina Up Against It
Down 0-3 in their Europa League semi-final tie with Sevilla, the Italians are really up against it this Thursday when they resume hostilities in Florence. Up to this point, La Viola have been a right menace in the competition. Punching well above their weight class, they overcame Tottenham and Roma, amongst several others to reach the final four. There were those soccer bettors that believed they could be the value soccer pick to win it all.

Fast forward to the deciding leg of the semi-finals, and they soccer odds are appropriately stacked against them at +1400 to advance into the final. It would take a monumental effort to overturn a three-goal deficit.

As far as match betting markets go, Fiorentina are matched at +125 soccer odds to win the second leg while Sevilla are matched at +210. That's simply because it's possible that La Viola might win the second leg (for instance 1-0 or 2-0), but the Spaniards will still advance on aggregate.  Only a 3-0 win in regulation time by Fiorentina would send this game into overtime and, then, possibly penalties.  An away goal by Sevilla, however, would spell almost certain disaster and an end to their European hopes.

 

Soccer Betting Verdict:
This is one of the most highly anticipated matches on the coming week's soccer betting schedule. Both these sides have the potential to score and in bucket loads, which will only heighten the drama and entertainment. In principle, the quality of both suggests this could go either way.  Realistically, however, Sevilla are the likeliest to advance into the final as they are in pole position right now.

Nevertheless, it's hard to overlook La Viola in this tie entirely for your soccer picks. Nor for that matter their tempting soccer odds of +125 to win outright. They could have something up their sleeves for Thursday. Whether it's enough to turn this tie on its head completely remains to be seen.

Soccer Picks: Fiorentina +125 at Bet365

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