Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Fiorentina played out a goalless draw with PAOK in the opening match of their Europa League campaign, but Viola quickly returned to winning ways. The Serie A team rolled over Qarabag in their second group game and they did well to beat Slovan Liberec at Stadion u Nisy on 20 October. The two teams face each other once again in Group J, but this time out Fiorentina will welcome Slovan Liberec at their Stadio Artemio Franchi. Viola head into Thursday’s football match following a hard-fought win over Bologna and we predict that they are going to cement top position in Group J with a victory over Jindrich Trpisovsky’s men. Slovan Liberec suffered a 2-1 loss to Bohemians at the weekend and given their poor form, there is every chance the visitors will return home empty-handed. Nikola Kalinic scored a brace in the reverse fixture and he will be the man to watch in the home team.
Highlighted Player (Nikola Kalinic):
Nikola Kalinic is a product of Hajduk Split’s youth school. The 187-cm-tall striker scored 32 goals in 59 appearances for Hajduk at senior level and he played for the likes of Pula and Sibenik in Croatia as well. In 2009 he moved to Blackburn Rovers for fee of £6 million. Nikola Kalinic made his Blackburn Rovers debut against Sunderland on 22 August, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the Riversiders against Peterborough United in the League Cup. After making 44 league appearances for Blackburn Rovers, the Croatian attacker joined Dnipro in 2011 and he played for the Ukrainian outfit until 2015. Kalinic signed a four-year deal with Fiorentina on 15 August, 2015 and he impressed in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign, scoring 12 goals in 36 games. The Fiorentina striker made two appearances for Croatia at the 2016 European Championship in France and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 2-1 win over Spain in the group stages of the competition.
Highlighted Team (Slovan Liberec):
Slovan Liberec are a professional football club that participate in Czech First League. The club were founded in 1958 and they won their first domestic trophy in 2002. The Modrobili won the national championship in 2006 as well, with the team finishing the season five points clear of second-placed Mlada Boleslav. Six years later Slovan Liberec clinched their third domestic trophy, leaving the likes of Sparta Prague and Viktoria Plzen behind them in the standings. Speaking of the club’s European success, the Czech outfit made it to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 2002, but they failed to make life difficult for star-studded Borussia Dortmund in the two-legged tie. The Modrobili welcome their rivals at Stadion u Nisy and the capacity of the stadium is 10 000. The venue was built in 1933, but it was renovated on two occasions (1995, 2001). Slovan Liberec play their home games in blue and white kits and the colour of their away kits is blue.