Fiorentina vs Club Bruges Prediction: I Viola to end visitors’ winning run

 | 1st May | 

4 mins read

Europa league trophy scaled

Fiorentina are on course for back-to-back Europa Conference League finals after edging out Viktoria Plzen in the quarters last month, but first they must eliminate Belgian side Club Bruges, who they face in the first leg of their semi-final tie on Thursday at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.

The game will be shown live in the UK on TNT Sports 5 (KO, 20:00), and you can build up to it by reading my Fiorentina vs Club Bruges prediction below, where all the latest team news and match odds are also listed.

Fiorentina vs Club Bruges Betting Tips

  • Fiorentina to win & under 3.5 goals @ 7/5
  • Nicolas Gonzalez anytime scorer @ 15/8

Fiorentina were made to work for their semi-final place by Plzen, who held I Viola to a goalless draw in the Czech Republic before holding firm until extra time in Florence, where the 10-man team was eventually undone by Nicolas Gonzalez and Cristiano Biraghi.

Events were more straightforward for Club Bruges, who beat PAOK 1-0 in Belgium before winning 2-0 in Greece.

Nicky Hayen's side is now looking for an eighth-straight victory in all competitions as they go in search of domestic and continental glory.

Team News

M'Bala Nzola has missed Fiorentina's last five matches through injury and is expected to be absent once again on Thursday.

Vincenzo Italiano is expected to make changes to the starting XI that beat Sassuolo 5-1 on Sunday, with Giacomo Bonaventura, Lucas Beltran, Andrea Belotti and Gonzalez among those likely to be promoted from the bench.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet hasn't played since March 17 due to injury, but the 36-year-old returned to the Club Bruges squad on Sunday to watch Nordin Jackers keep a clean sheet against Genk and is set to be restored to the first XI on Thursday.

Casper Nielsen and Andreas Skov Olsen made their returns to the squad last weekend and can be called upon by Hayen.

Igor Thiago, Maxim De Cuyper and Brandon Mechele missed last month's second-leg win over PAOK in Greece through suspension but the trio are available for selection once again in Europe.

Match Odds

Fiorentina are priced at 5/6 to take a lead to Greece in two weeks, giving them an implied win probability of 54.5%, while Club Bruges can be backed at 7/2, or a 22.2% chance, to win away in Florence.

The draw is available at 5/2, with both teams to score at 5/6 and over 2.5 goals at 10/11.

Fiorentina to win & under 3.5 goals @ 7/5

Fiorentina's last two games - a 5-1 win against Sassuolo and a 4-1 defeat at Atalanta - produced six and five goals respectively, but in the eight matches prior, there were never more than three goals in each. Indeed, seven of them finished with two goals or fewer.

The recent outliers can, in part, be explained by them facing a relegation-threatened Sassuolo side who have been involved in more goals (110) than any other team in Serie A, and them going down to 10 men early in the second half of their return leg with Atalanta in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia.

I'm expecting a return to normality on Thursday with under 3.5 goals, and I believe Fiorentina can make home advantage count.

Italiano's side has lost just four times at home all season, with three of those defeats coming against traditional Italian heavyweights Juventus, Inter Milan and AC Milan.

Club Bruges are in terrific form heading into this game, but I Viola's extra quality should show in the first leg.

Fiorentina to beat Club Bruges & under 3.5 goals at 7-5

Nicolas Gonzalez anytime scorer @ 15/8

The Argentina international was enduring a barren spell in front of goal before finding the opener in extra time against Plzen last month, and he followed that up with a brace off the bench against Sassuolo on Sunday.

Gonzalez now has 14 goals in club colours this term, four of which have come in the Europa Conference League, and I expect him to play an important role against Club Bruges this week.

Ten of his strikes have arrived at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, so he tends to save his best for the club's home fans.

Nicolas Gonzalez anytime goalscorer in Fiorentina vs Club Bruges at 15-8

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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