Basel vs Fiorentina predictions: Away form to see Viola through
Fiorentina will have been disappointed to give Basel the advantage going into the second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final in Switzerland, but The Violets have been impressive on the road and will be confident of overcoming this deficit.
Basel may have concocted their own Italian Job last week when coming from 1-0 down to win 2-1 at Stadio Artemio Franchi, but they have struggled at St. Jakob-Park of late and their fantastic run in this competition may come to an end on Thursday evening.
Basel boss Heiko Vogel made nine changes for the 6-1 loss at St. Gallen last time out and he is expected to recall a number of his first-team regulars for the second leg, including goalkeeper Marwin Hitz and the defensive duo of Kasim Nuhu and Andy Pelmard.
The only absentee for the hosts is Spanish defender Arnau Comas, who has been out of action with a thigh injury since November.
Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Italiano has no injury issues to contend with and, like Vogel, he is set to recall a number of regulars after also making nine changes for the 2-0 home win over Udinese at the weekend.
Arthur Cabral, who is the Europa Conference League's top scorer this season with seven goals, was rested for that victory and he is set to come back into the side along with goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano and defender Dodo.
Fiorentina have won their last five away matches in this competition with an aggregate score of 18-2, recording respective 3-0, 3-0, 4-0, 4-1 and 4-1 victories over Hearts, Riga FS, Sporting Braga, Sivasspor and Lech Poznan.
Brazilian striker Cabral notched his seventh strike of the competition in the first leg of this tie, with five of those goals coming in the last four away assignments.
Basel are winless in their last five home matches across all competitions, while they have only won one of their last five Europa Conference League games at St. Jakob-Park.
Vogel's side have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 attempts and have only managed one shutout from their last six home fixtures in this tournament.
Basel have surprised a lot of people by getting to this stage and although they hold a 2-1 advantage heading into Thursday's encounter, this could be the end of the road for them.
Given their poor home form and Fiorentina's superb away record in the Europa Conference League, it is hard to look past the Serie A outfit booking their place in the final in Prague next month.
However, it will be no easy task for The Violets, as was highlighted in the first leg, so the safer play looks to be backing the visitors to qualify.
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