Empoli vs Fiorentina
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Sunday, 20 November 2016
Kick-Off: 14:00 UK,
Venue: Stadio Carlo Castellani (Empoli).
It’s an all-Tuscan derby as struggling Empoli welcome a Fiorentina side still yet to hit full stride on Sunday afternoon.
Before the break, Empoli thrashed Pescara 4-0. It was a notable result against a fellow relegation candidate as it helped lift them out of the drop zone. In addition, it marked the first time in eight matches that the Azzurri had finally found the back of the net. And finally, by scoring four goals, they tripled their goal output for the season, as prior to that, they had scored just twice.
They still do have the worst attack in the division, but are finally starting to close ground on fellow relegation battlers Palermo and Pescara. Of course, they will face a much sterner test against Fiorentina. Oddly enough, the Viola were also in a scoring rut, and before their 5-3 win over Cagliari, had netted just six goals. Paulo Sousa’s men since have started to slowly get back on track, but they are far from their very best. And the injury to Croatian international Nikola Kalinic certainly will not help matters. Although he’s been inconsistent at times, his contributions towards their Europa League campaign in particular cannot be overlooked and it remains to be seen how they will adjust going forward.
Since losing 2-1 to Torino, the Viola have gone five matches sans a loss. Still, it has been far from a convincing performance and they will hope to return from the international break firing on all cylinders against a team who are not out of the danger zone just yet. Furthermore, with the congested nature of things in the middle of the table, Fiorentina could move up quite a few places with a good result here, especially considering that Inter take on AC Milan and Lazio face Genoa.
Empoli vs Fiorentina: Head-to-head statistics
- Empoli have a record of W4-D6-L10 in their past 20 home games against teams ranked higher than them in the table.
- The Azzurri have scored just six goals so far – the worst in the division. And four of those came against Pescara.
- Empoli and Fiorentina have met 18 times in the top flight.
- The Viola have won eight times, whilst the Azzurri have won three times.
- Empoli beat Fiorentina 2-0 last April; it marked their first win in their past 12 meetings (eight losses, three draws).
- Fiorentina have lost just one out of their last ten Serie A games.
- The Viola have a record of W9-D6-L5 in their past 20 road games versus sides below them in the table.
Empoli vs Fiorentina: Prediction
Both Fiorentina and Empoli have had their share of struggles this season. The Viola for a while had netted just six, then nearly doubled that in one game when they edged out Cagliari by firing in five. The same happened to Empoli; albeit they were much worse off prior to their 4-0 demolition of Pescara. Whilst seemingly encouraging, it’s a false dawn; after all, Pescara have yet to win an actual game on the pitch this season.
Despite Fiorentina’s struggles, the Viola are a gulf in class above their Tuscan rivals and should be able to get all three points out of this one. It won’t be necessarily a high-scoring affair; after all there have been under 2.5 goals in Fiorentina’s last three Serie A games, but the Viola should get the job done and move on to the next task.
Empoli vs Fiorentina: Betting tips
The following Odds are provided by Ladbrokes Sportsbook.
Both teams to score – NO at 17/20 at (1.85)
Under 2.5 goals at 4/6 (1.67)
Fiorentina to WIN at 11/10 (2.10).