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Feb 27, 2021 at 5pm UK at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara
BolognaBologna
2-0
LazioLazio
M'baye (19'), Sansone (64')
Larangeira (9')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Patric (40'), Hoedt (81')

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

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

A Lazio side rattled by their desperate Champions League defeat in midweek seek to bounce back immediately, as they travel to meet mid-table Bologna on Saturday evening.

Simone Inzaghi's men have surged back into the race for a top-four place in recent weeks, so will not want to surrender momentum, while their hosts are unbeaten this month as they continue to pull away from the Serie A drop zone.


Match preview

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Making far too many avoidable errors against a ruthless Bayern Munich outfit on Tuesday inevitably resulted in a heavy home defeat for Lazio, with their 4-1 first-leg deficit effectively bringing to an end any hopes of a Champions League quarter-final place.

Succumbing to the Bavarians' intense high pressing game brings no shame, as many victims have done so before, but the slightly shambolic nature of the Aquile's first-half capitulation could have knock-on effects as they return to domestic duties this weekend.

In Serie A, at least, Simone Inzaghi's team have been virtually unstoppable since the turn of the year, with eight wins and two defeats from their last ten outings. Throughout January, the capital club strung together six consecutive victories, bringing them back into the conversation regarding European qualification for next term.

Lazio defeated Sampdoria 1-0 at home in their previous league match, leaving them in sixth place in the standings - level with Atalanta on points and just one behind fierce city rivals Roma.

However, a dark cloud looms on the horizon, as the club could potentially face a points penalty if found guilty of the maladministration of positive COVID-19 tests. A hearing will be held next month and the verdict could have a defining impact on Lazio's final placing this season.

They must put such concerns to one side for now though, as they seek a seventh away win on the road this weekend against one of their favourite opponents. The Biancocelesti won their last meeting with Bologna in the autumn, coming out on top 2-1 at Stadio Olimpico, as current top scorers Ciro Immobile (14 goals) and Luis Alberto (seven) made the scoresheet.

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Though Bologna have now put together a rare run of three games without defeat, following last week's 1-1 draw in the Emilian derby with Sassuolo, they come up against a much-feared foe this time out, as their Roman visitors have dominated recent history in this fixture. In clashes with Lazio since 2012, the Rossoblu have never once emerged victorious, with a winless streak of 15 games accumulating during that period.

The Felsinei have, however, not lost in Serie A for almost a month, since suffering a 2-1 defeat at Dall'Ara against then-leaders Milan. That has helped stabilise Sinisa Mihajlovic's men in the standings, sitting in a relatively safe twelfth place, 10 clear of the relegation zone.

A backs-to-the-wall effort in securing their most recent result, at Sassuolo's Mapei Stadium, saw the Rossoblu conceding three-quarters of the possession and facing some 30 shots on goal, as they hung on to a hard-earned point despite Aaron Hickey's first-half dismissal - a decision which was even questioned by opposition boss Roberto D'Aversa after the game.

Leading scorer Roberto Soriano returned to productivity after a nine-match absence from the stat sheet too and will now look to build upon a tally of six goals and four assists accrued mostly in the opening weeks of the campaign. However, it was primarily a brave rearguard action which salvaged the draw.

It may require another 90 minutes of 'parking the bus', against high-flying Lazio on Saturday, as Mihajlovic welcomes a club who he spent six memorable years with as a player.

This week, the Serbian coach claimed he was asked by Biancocelesti club president Claudio Lotito to take charge at the Olimpico before he ended up at Fiorentina in 2010, so will relish the opportunity to prove a point to both his former employers and his highly-rated coaching counterpart, Simone Inzaghi.

Bologna Serie A form: WLLWDD

Lazio Serie A form: WWWWLW
Lazio form (all competitions): LWWLWL


Team News

Lazio's Gonzalo Escalante celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Lazio are without midfielder Gonzalo Escalante due to suspension, after he picked up a booking as a substitute last week, while defenders Stefan Radu and Luiz Felipe are both still out through injury.

Wing-back Manuel Lazzari returns from a ban to reclaim his spot in Simone Inzaghi's familiar 3-5-2 formation, so Senad Lulic or Adam Marusic will drop out of the XI that faced Sampdoria.

Ciro Immobile has scored only once in his past four matches, but has not gone three games without a goal in Serie A at any stage this season, and should start alongside his favoured foil Joaquin Correa in attack.

Home manager Sinisa Mihajlovic has Scottish full-back Aaron Hickey - sent off versus Sassuolo - suspended, while Paolo Farago, Gary Medel and Mitchell Dijks are doubtful through injury.

Though versatile defender Takehiro Tomiyasu is also struggling with a knock, he may be required to fill in at left-back, given the unavailability of Hickey and Dijks. Meanwhile, striker Musa Barrow (on five goals this term) should continue up front, with support from Roberto Soriano and Nicola Sansone.

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; De Silvestri, Danilo, Soumaoro, Tomiyasu; Schouten, Svanberg; Orsolini, Soriano, Sansone; Barrow

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Patric, Hoedt, Acerbi; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Lulic; Correa, Immobile


SM words green background

We say: Bologna 0-2 Lazio

Though Lazio may be shell-shocked by their crushing Champions League defeat in midweek, they should benefit from facing significantly lesser opponents this time out, as a limited Bologna team are a far simpler proposition than the reigning world champions.

Ciro Immobile is overdue another goal, as he chases back-to-back Capocannoniere awards, so can return to his ruthless best at Dall'Ara on Saturday.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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Thomas Strakosha in action for Lazio during a Serie A match against Inter Milan in March 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter Milan31236270284275
2AC Milan31206559362366
3Atalanta BCAtalanta31197572383464
4Juventus31188561283362
5Napoli31193966353160
6Lazio30184851411058
7Roma3116695547854
8SassuoloSassuolo31121095249346
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona31118123938141
10Sampdoria31116144246-439
11Bologna31107144347-437
12Udinese3199133441-736
13Genoa31711133346-1332
14SpeziaSpezia3188154159-1832
15Fiorentina3179153952-1330
16BeneventoBenevento3179153360-2730
17Torino30612124553-830
18CagliariCagliari3167183554-1925
19Parma31311173263-3120
20Crotone3143243879-4115

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