MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 21:58:48| >> :600:2427605:2427605:
May 16, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Ciro Vigorito
Lapadula (13')
Glik (80'), Gaich (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Simy (90+3')
Marrone (15'), Magallan (51')
Golemic (24')

Preview: Benevento vs. Crotone - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Benevento and Crotone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Benevento would be all but relegated from Serie A if they do not beat Crotone on Sunday afternoon.

Gli Stregoni sit 18th in the table with just two games left to play and are four points behind closest rivals 17th-placed Torino, who have a superior goal difference.

Match preview

Benevento manager Filippo Inzaghi pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Three points may not seem such a big ask against a team who are already relegated, but Benevento have won just once in their last 20 games and are on a four-game losing streak.

It has been an abysmal second half of the season for Filippo Inzaghi's side, who were 10th in the table at the start of 2021 with no fear of going straight back down to Serie B after promotion last year.

Gli Stregoni were beaten 2-0 by Atalanta on Wednesday and were lucky not to concede more, with their woes worsened by Luca Caldirola's red card eight minutes from time.

They have not won on home turf since December and have picked up just 12 points and two victories at Stadio Ciro Vigorito all season, scoring only 18 goals.

If they are able to take their fate to the final day, Benevento will face a potentially mouth-watering winner-takes-all clash away to Torino, who also face Lazio on Tuesday night.

Crotone were promoted alongside Benevento last year, but in truth they have shown few signs of top-flight quality all year and their relegation was confirmed a fortnight ago.

Goals from Adam Ounas and Junior Messias earned a 2-1 victory over Hellas Verona on Thursday night, just their sixth win of the campaign; it moved them off the bottom of the table, leapfrogging Parma, for the first time since Christmas.

However, the goal they conceded was the 91st to end up in their net this season, equalling the all-time Serie A record set by Casale in 1933/34. Unless Alex Cordaz can keep clean sheets on Sunday and in the final game against Fiorentina – which seems unlikely considering he has kept just two all season – they will hold the unwanted title outright.

Serse Cosmi's side have picked up just five points away from home this season, losing 15 of their 18 games on the road. A thrilling 4-3 win at Parma last month ensured that they would not end the campaign without an away victory.

Crotone have won three of their last four meetings with Benevento but have not won at Stadio Ciro Vigorito since 2009, when the two sides were competing in the Serie C playoffs. The Pythagoreans triumphed 4-1 in this season's reverse fixture in January, their joint-biggest margin of victory in 2020/21.

Benevento Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Crotone Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Crotone coach Serse Cosmi on May 1, 2021© Reuters

Inzaghi has alternated between different tactics throughout the second half of the season with little joy, so it is hard to tell whether he will go with a back three or a back four for this one.

The latter perhaps seems more likely, with centre-back Caldirola suspended after his red card against Atalanta and few other options available in the middle of defence.

All of Benevento's last five goals have been scored by either Nicolas Viola or Gianluca Lapadula so if anyone is to be the club's saviour in their hour of need, it is likely to be one or both of that duo.

Cosmi may be keen to name an unchanged Crotone team after their rare victory over Hellas Verona on Thursday.

However, his plans could be scuppered by the fitness of Pedro Pereira, who went off with an ankle problem in that game. If the Portuguese is not available, Andrea Rispoli is the most likely option to replace him on the right hand side of midfield.

Arkadiusz Reca, on loan from Atalanta, remains out with a knee sprain and may have played his last game for Crotone; the 25-year-old is unlikely to be risked next week as he will not want to put his place in Poland's Euro 2020 squad in jeopardy.

Benevento possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Letizia, Tuia, Glik, Barba; Hetemaj, Viola, Ionita; Improta, Caprari; Lapadula

Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Djidji, Marrone, Magallan; Rispoli, Benali, Cigarini, Messias, Molina; Ounas, Simy

SM words green background

We say: Benevento 2-1 Crotone

It is do or die for Benevento as relegation edges ever closer, but we think they will take the battle to the final day of the campaign with victory in this game. Crotone, despite their win on Thursday, have been abysmal this season and are the perfect opponent for Inzaghi's side to break their horrendous run of form against.

Top tip

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