MX23RW : Thursday, June 17 08:01:32| >> :600:2123448:2123448:
May 2, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara
Palacio (31', 71', 84')
Soumaoro (20'), Svanberg (47')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Vlahovic (21' pen., 74'), Bonaventura (64')
Milenkovic (76'), Julio (79')

Preview: Bologna vs. Fiorentina - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Bologna host Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon, looking to claim their fifth home victory of the season and climb further away from the Serie A relegation zone.

Meanwhile, La Viola have collected four points from their last two league games but sit just three points above the drop zone heading into the final five fixtures of the campaign.

Match preview

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Bologna suffered their heaviest defeat of the season when they were thrashed 5-0 away at Atalanta last weekend.

The hosts went into half time with a two-goal cushion thanks to a strike from Ruslan Malinovsky and a penalty converted by Luis Muriel. Just four minutes after the break, things got even worse for the Rossoblu when Jerdy Schouten was given his marching orders.

Atalanta took full advantage of having the extra man as goals from Remo Freuler, Duvan Zapata and Aleksei Miranchuk secured a comfortably victory for La Dea.

That result leaves Bologna seven points above the relegation zone, with just five Serie A games remaining, but with their next four matches against teams currently in the bottom half of the table, manager Sinisa Mihajlovic will be confident that his side can ensure their safety in the top-flight for next season.

Bologna's last Serie A win against Fiorentina dates back to February 2013 when goals from Marco Motta and Lazaros Christodoulopoulos helped seal a 2-1 victory. Since then, the Rossoblu have failed to win any of their 13 meetings against La Viola, scoring just four times in the process.

In addition, Mihajlovic – who managed Fiorentina for 48 Serie A games between 2010 and 2011 – has won only four times in 14 matches against La Viola since he left the club.

Victory for Bologna on Sunday could move them level on points with Hellas Verona in tenth place who they face in the penultimate game of this season.

Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic pictured on March 3, 2021© Reuters

Fiorentina claimed their fourth point of the season against current Scudetto holders Juventus last weekend, when they drew 1-1 against them on home soil.

Dusan Vlahovic scored his 17th Serie A goal of the campaign from the penalty spot just before the half-hour mark, but Juve responded quickly after half time and substitute Alvaro Morata had an immediate impact, curling in a brilliant strike just 45 seconds after the restart.

Despite Juve's dominance in possession, La Viola were able to hold on for an important point, which leaves them three points clear of the relegation zone.

Fiorentina travel to the Renato Dall'Ara Stadium, having accumulated only 13 points away from home in Serie A this season. However, seven of those points have been claimed in their last three games on the road.

Since the 2011-12 campaign, La Viola have recorded 11 clean sheets against Bologna, their most against any other team. However, Beppe Iachini's side have conceded in all of their last 10 top-flight matches; they have not recorded a longer run without a clean sheet in the competition since September 2010.

Securing all three points on Sunday would provide a massive boost for Fiorentina in their bid to survive, and they could move six points clear of 18th-placed Cagliari, who they will face in under two weeks' time.

Bologna Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L

Fiorentina Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Franck Ribery in action for Fiorentina in September 2020© Reuters

Bologna have several players ruled out through injury, including Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf), Aaron Hickey (shoulder), Nicolas Dominguez (knee), Gary Medel (muscle), Federico Santander (knee), Mitchell Dijks (thigh) and Nicola Sansone (calf).

Mihajlovic used a 5-3-2 formation against Atalanta last weekend but may adopt a slightly more attacking 3-5-2 system on Sunday, giving wing-backs Andreas Skov Olsen and Lorenzo De Silvestri more freedom to attack in the final third.

Midfielder Schouten is suspended after being dismissed last weekend, so Andrea Poli could be handed a rare start alongside Roberto Soriano and Mattias Svanberg.

Rodrigo Palacio, who has scored just once in 31 league appearances this season, is set to keep his place up front with Musa Barrow.

For Fiorentina, creative midfielder Aleksandr Kokorin is set to miss out once again with a thigh strain and veteran midfielder Borja Valero is also unavailable with a thigh problem.

Giacomo Bonaventura, who has scored four goals against Bologna in Serie A, is back from suspension and is expected to return to the first XI at the expense of Erick Pulgar.

Brazilian defender Igor Julio started at left wing-back against Juventus last weekend but he could be replaced in the side by Cristiano Biraghi.

Vlahovic and Frank Ribery, who have contributed to 28 Serie A goals so far this season, are expected to lead the line once again.

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Antov, Danilo, Soumaoro; Skov Olsen, Poli, Soriano, Svanberg, De Silvestri; Barrow, Palacio

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Caceres; Venuti, Bonaventura, Amrabat, Castrovilli, Biraghi; Ribery, Vlahovic

SM words green background

We say: Bologna 1-2 Fiorentina

There is still work to be done by both Bologna and Fiorentina if they are to avoid relegation this campaign and claiming three points on Sunday would help in their bid to survive.

The two teams have struggled defensively throughout this campaign, but we feel that the form of Vlahovic will give La Viola the edge at the Renato Dall'Ara Stadium.

Top tip

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Inter Milan's Matteo Darmian celebrates scoring against Cagliari on April 11, 2021
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Sunday's Serie A predictions including Inter Milan vs. Hellas Verona
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