Fiorentina vs Basel by Gustav
Fiorentina took the narrow 1:0 victory at home against Genoa last weekend, but once again made their lives very difficult in a game they could have go in much better way for them. They took the lead in 60th minute via Babacar, but the hosts stood playing with a man less three minutes later when Badelj got excluded due second yellow card. The game itself wasn't very fast paced one, with the players of Viola taking deserved three pointer in the end.
Visitors trying to make some pressure in last twenty five minutes when they were playing with a man more, however without much of a success. It was also a special moment for Giuseppe Rossi who made a first start in the game after more than year and a half pause due injury. Drawn in a group together with Basel, Lech Poznan and Belenenses, logical consequence is that players of Fiorentina are aiming for a knock-out rounds and first position here. They have reached the semi-finals last year where they got excluded from Sevilla and will surely now try to repeat the same success. Midfielder Marko Bakic (no performance in the season anyway) is injured for this one, while right defender Nenad Tomovic (3/0) won't be playing here, as well as winger (newly signed) Joan Verdu and striker Ante Rebic (1/0), three out of these four actually not that important part of the roster early in the season. Their coach Paulo Sousa will be the main character of this game as he used to coach Basel till June this year.
Basel can't be satisfied with their European course this season, but the team has started very well in the domestic competitions. They were eliminated in the play-off stage for Champions League against Maccabi Tel Aviv, paying dearly 2:2 draw at home in the first game. In Israel, they looked slightly better but had only 1:1 draw and had to continue their European path in Europa League group stage due away goal rule.
In that second game, team was playing with many changes to their original shape, however took the lead early, conceded quickly and later on had no solutions against the defense of Maccabi. As said, the team has started their domestic duties with more than positive results, having eight victories out of eight rounds played in the Swiss league, already being first at the table with seven points more than second placed Grasshoppers - no doubt that they are already red hot favorites for another title. In the most recent game, they prevailed last Saturday against St Gallen 2:1 at home, having all the superiority on the field and absolute control over the game. Defensive midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic is now ready, while injured remain left back Adama Traore (6/1). Long term absentee remains central defender Ivan Ivanov and talented youngster, offensive midfielder Veljko Simic.
Fiorentina remains favorite here, as the team generally plays well at home and has no problems to find their way to the net. However, Basel, after surprising exclusion in Champions League has nothing to lose here and will surely be as attacking as possible. Swiss side can easily come out as a winner here, but the first choice remains with plenty of goals, probably scored by both teams.