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Fiorentina vs Basel betting tips: Europa Conference League semi-final first leg preview, predictions, team news and odds

Fiorentina vs Basel odds and betting statistics

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Fiorentina vs Basel match preview

Will Fiorentina claim a first leg victory, as they seek to win European silverware for the first time since 1961?

I Viola were this tournament’s form team, winning nine successive Europa Conference League matches, including the first leg of their quarter-final, recording an emphatic 4-1 victory at Stadion Poznań.

However, an extraordinary remontada appeared to be on the cards when, against all odds, Lech Poznań raced into a 3-0 lead in Florence.

Riccardo Sottil then fired Fiorentina back in front before, in stoppage time, Gaetano Castrovilli secured a 6-4 aggregate victory, that was far more stressful than it should’ve been.

Nevertheless, this is I Gigliati first semi-final appearance since 2015, seeking to emulate Nándor Hidegkuti’s team of 62 years ago that beat Rangers in the Cup Winners’ Cup Final.

In the present day, Vincenzo Italiano’s team could be on for a cup double, having already reached the Coppa Italia Final, set to face Inter in Rome in just 13 nights time.

Fiorentina are the favourites to progress, so will the Italian club claim a first leg advantage?

FC Basel meantime are on the cusp of a first-ever European Final, ousted by Chelsea a decade ago in their only previous semi-final.

To get here, RotBlau have already played 18 matches, starting with a second qualifying round win over Crusaders back in mid-July.

In the quarter-finals, Heiko Vogel’s team caused a major upset, knocking out Nice, doing so with an extra time victory in the French Riviera.

Jean-Kévin Augustin equalised with just four minutes to play, before Kasim Nuhu struck the decisive blow nine minutes into the additional half hour.

This victory is even more of a surprise when Basel’s domestic results are considered.

They were beaten 2-0 by Zürich at the weekend, so remain fifth in the Swiss Super League, four points below Luzern, set to miss out on European qualification for the first time since 1998.

Although, this would be rendered irrelevant, should they go on to lift this trophy in Prague on 7 June.

Fiorentina are likely to be too strong over two legs, with I Viola targeting an emphatic victory at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Fiorentina team news

Centre-back Nikola Milenković will miss this first leg suspended due to yellow card accumulation.

Lucas Martínez Quarta, who sat out the weekend trip to Naples due to a ban of his own, will therefore come in to partner Igor at the back.

Star striker Arthur Cabral was taken off injured against Salernitana last mid-week, but is hopeful of being fit to lead the line against the side he left for Fiorentina last summer.

Cabral has scored seven goals in this season’s Europa Conference League, meaning it would be a massive blow if he is sidelined.

Predicted XI (4-3-3): Terracciano; Dodô, Martínez, Igor, Biraghi; Amrabat, Barák, Bonaventura; Ikoné, González, Cabral.

Basel team news

Quarter-final hero Kasim Nuhu, Wouter Burger and Taulant Xhaka were all sent off at the weekend but, luckily, their respective bans only apply to domestic matches.

Andy Pelmard, Arnau Comas, Riccardo Calafiori and Fabian Frei are all long-term absentees, while right-back Sergio López was taken off at half time on Sunday, making him a doubt.

19 year old Andy Diouf will return to midfield, having missed the Zürich defeat suspended.

Brighton loanee Andi Zeqiri has scored 16 times this season, six of which have come in Europe.

Predicted XI (3-5-2): Hitz; Essiam, Lang, Adams; Xhaka, Burger, Diouf, Ndoye, Millar; Amdouni, Zeqiri.

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Ben Gray

Arsenal fan – follow them over land and sea (and Leicester); sofa Celtic supporter; a bit of a football '"encyclopedia".

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