Serie A: Fiorentina v Pescara

Third-placed Fiorentina will be hopeful of maintaining their unbeaten home record when they face lowly Pescara at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday (2pm GMT).

The Viola have enjoyed an excellent first half of the season, accumulating 35 points from 10 wins, five draws and three defeats. They may be some nine points behind league leaders Juventus, but are well placed in the race for a Champions League qualifying spot.

New coach Vicenzo Montella has confirmed the potential he showed at Catania last season, quickly moulding a large number of new recruits into a cohesive, well-balanced, attractive passing side, who are strong at both ends of the pitch.

Fiorentina often start matches positively and have scored within the first 22 minutes of ten of their 18 matches to date, and before half time in 13 of them. If Serie A matches ended at half time they would be second in the table, just two points behind Lazio.

Pescara are 16th in Serie A, two points clear of the drop zone, after a rocky first half-season back in the top flight that has already seen Giovanni Stroppa – appointed in place of Roma-bound Zdenek Zeman in the summer – replaced by Cristiano Bergodi.

The Delfini have often made things difficult for themselves with poor first half performances. They are bottom of the half time table having not once led a match into the break. They have conceded more goals in the first half of matches (19) than any other side in Serie A, whilst also scoring the fewest (4).

Betting Tip: Fiorentina have often been very quick out of the traps so far this season and have led at half time in six of their nine home matches to date. Pescara are notoriously slow starters and are in the midst of a run of five straight defeats away from home.

  • Bet on ‘Fiorentina/Fiorentina’ on the ‘half time/full time’ betting market @ best odds of 8/11 with Paddy Power. This bet is for the home side to be leading at both the halfway stage and at the final whistle.