Fiorentina - Empoli predictions and free betting tips [23/10/2023]
On Monday 23rd October, as part of the 9th round of Italian Serie A, Fiorentina will host Empoli on its home pitch. The "violets" entered the international break in superb form, confidently defeating reigning champions Napoli on the road; while the visitors dwindle in the relegation zone at 18th place and are unlikely to take any points from Florence.
Fiorentina: Terracciano; Kayode, Milenkovic, Martinez Quarta, Parisi; Arthur, Duncan, Bonaventura; Gonzalez, Nzola, Brekalo.
Empoli: Berisha; Ebuehi, Ismajli, Luperto, Cacace; Marin, Ranocchia, Maleh, Baldanzi, Cancellieri; Caputo.
Last year's disappointing finalists of the Europa League and the Italian Cup finished in 8th place in the final Serie A standings and are aiming to at least reach the European zone this time around. Currently, the "violets" are fourth overall, achieving 5 wins, 2 draws, and 1 defeat. The only defeat came from Inter Milan (4:0). However, the periwinkle-white team scored convincing victories over Cagliari (3:0) and most importantly, Napoli in the last round (1:3). Josip Brekalo put the team ahead in the first 10 minutes, marking the 12th goal of the hosts in the first half of the national championship, which is a record among the top five European leagues. In the Conference League, Fiorentina performed less successfully, drawing ties with Genk (2:2) and Ferencvaros (2:2).
Under the command of Vincenzo Italiano, Fiorentina has no problem finding the net: scoring in 22 out of 24 previous Serie A rounds. However, the schedule is not merciful to the hosts: in the next three games, they are due to face Lazio, Milan, and Roma on the road, and in between them, Juventus will be coming to the Artemio Franchi. Several players will not partake in Monday night's showdown, including key midfielder Castrovilli, right-back Dodo, defenders Mina and Pierozzi, and backup goalkeeper Christensen - all out due to injuries. The 34-year-old playmaker Bonaventura (4 goals and 2 assists in Serie A) has been outstanding this season, even scoring a goal for the Italian national team last week. The starting line-up will surely feature Argentine winger Nico Gonzalez (5 goals and 1 assist in the championship), while summer newcomer Nzola (Spezia, 1 goal, and 1 assist) is still settling into the "violets" squad.
In a dire situation at the start of the season, Empoli sits 18th in Serie A – a slumping spot indeed. The team lost its first 5 matches of the championship before securing a home win against Salernitana (1:0) thanks to a precise strike by Andrea Andreazzoli. The blue and white then proceeded to be trashed by Bologna (3:0), and in the last round, shared points with Udinese (0:0) with their star Caputo having a goal disallowed in the first half due to a VAR review. To make matters worse, Empoli scores the fewest goals among all clubs from top five European leagues (only 1 compared to 16 conceded). Yet another defeat on Monday would be only the third occurrence in the last 17 years when the visitors gathered four or fewer points in the first nine rounds.
As in the previous match, the guests' roster will lack defender Pecella, young attacking midfielder Daniel Maldini (son of Paolo), and midfielder Bereszynski, who failed to recover from their physical problems. Alongside Baldanzi, youngster Cancellieri (21, 1 assist in Serie A) and veteran Caputo (36) might start. Razvan Marin was in fine form during the international break, scoring for the Romanian national team against Andorra (4:0), and hence also aspires to take the pitch from the get-go.
Visits to the Artemio Franchi have not been particularly rewarding for Empoli: of their last 12 forays into Florence, they have emerged victorious only once. Last season, the teams drew twice: 1:1 and 0:0.
Having defeated Napoli and Atalanta, Fiorentina is a contender for the European cups this campaign and should easily clinch all 3 points on Monday. Empoli has been deep in crisis and appears toothless in most matches – their spot in the relegation zone is more than earned. My bet is for the favourite’s triumph with a handicap of -1.
Italy - Serie A