MX23RW : Thursday, September 23 21:29:06| >> :600:4881491:4881491:
Mar 20, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Ezio Scida
CrotoneCrotone
2-3
BolognaBologna
Messias (32'), Simy (40' pen.)
Cuomo (22'), Petriccione (42'), Djidji (55'), Golemic (88')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Soumaoro (62'), Schouten (70'), Skov Olsen (84')
Dijks (23'), Soumaoro (39'), Dominguez (45+1'), Palacio (73'), Soriano (78'), Larangeira (81'), Skorupski (87')

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

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

With their chances of Serie A survival rapidly diminishing, rock-bottom Crotone will seek a rare top-flight win against mid-table Bologna at Stadio Ezio Scida on Saturday.

After winning at home last weekend, the visitors look set for a comfortable conclusion to their campaign, while Serse Cosmi's hosts remain without a win on the road all season after a 3-2 loss at Lazio.


Match preview

Serse Cosmi, now in charge of Crotone, pictured in 2012© Reuters

Crotone had finally ended a miserable run of seven successive Serie A defeats ahead of their visit to Stadio Olimpico last weekend, but were ultimately powerless to avoid a 12th away defeat of the season.

Though the Squali arrived in Rome fresh from a spirited 4-2 win over virus-hit Torino and new coach Serse Cosmi (suspended for his third game since taking the reins) saw his team come back into contention twice - through a brace from star striker Simy - they remain winless away from their Calabrian base all term long.

Now returning to Stadio Ezio Scida to take on 12th-placed Bologna, Crotone can take solace from the fact that they have picked up 14 of their 15 points this campaign against teams currently in the bottom half of the table.

As four of their next six league matches are against sides below the mid-way point in the standings, such a run of fixtures represents a real 'now or never' moment for the club if they are to somehow stay up.

To take advantage of their last remaining window of opportunity, Cosmi's men must find a means of shoring up their leaky back line - having conceded at least two goals in each of their last nine Serie A games, Crotone are the owners of one of the worst defensive records in Europe's top five leagues this season.

Despite a spell on the sidelines last month, under former boss Giovanni Stroppa, top scorer Simy has registered 12 goals so far - two more than in his previous pair of top-flight campaigns combined - and much hope will be invested in their experienced hit-man making up for his colleagues' defensive deficiencies once again.

Bologna midfielder Mattias Svanberg tackling Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez in July 2020.© Reuters

Goals from Musa Barrow, Swedish midfielder Matthias Svanberg and their reliable creative hub, Roberto Soriano, helped Bologna to an impressive 3-1 victory over fellow mid-table outfit Sampdoria last Sunday.

Rossoblu coach Sinisa Mihajlovic praised his players after a deserved win at Dall'Ara, as after Svanberg put them back into the lead just before the break, the Emilian side went on to control the second half and take all three points against Claudio Ranieri's below-par side.

Since being shifted into a more central role to cover for Bologna's shortage of strikers, Gambia forward Barrow - with six goals and six assists to date - has demonstrated a great deal of potential, though is still in search of consistency at the tender age of 22.

Ahead of his team's trip to Calabria, the former Atalanta man is now just one away from matching his tally of goal involvements last season, when he racked up nine goals and four assists between spells at the Bergamo side and his current club.

Bologna have, though, failed to score in four of their last seven league games on the road, so this Saturday's fixture may prove the perfect opportunity for Barrow and company to put that penalty-box profligacy right, before they face Inter and then Roma straight after the international break.

Having failed to seal back-to-back Serie A victories since November, Mihajlovic's men will surely be expecting to bolster their paltry tally of 10 away points so far this term against hosts who have leaked 36 goals in the first half of games alone.

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

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


Team News

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic pictured in January 2021© Reuters

Visiting coach Sinisa Mihajlovic has only long-term injury victim Federico Santander and midfielder Paolo Farago (bruised thigh) unavailable ahead of this weekend's fixture for Bologna.

In-form Musa Barrow may continue in his favoured wide role, having deputised at centre-forward in previous weeks, with veteran Rodrigo Palacio again getting the nod up front. Meanwhile, Jerdy Schouten and Nicolas Dominguez are still battling for one vacant slot in midfield.

Left-back Aaron Hickey and winger Riccardo Orsolini are also in contention for a return to the side, with Mitchell Dijks and Andreas Skov Olsen being the men most under threat.

Crotone chief Serse Cosmi is likely to be without wing-back Arkadiusz Reca - injured versus Lazio - midfielder Luca Cigarini and defender Luca Marrone on Saturday afternoon, while tricky forward Adam Ounas is a doubt due to a minor muscular issue.

Andrea Rispoli is favourite to cover for Reca out wide in the home side's stock 3-5-2, while Emmanuel Riviere or Samuel Di Carmine would cover the absence of Ounas if required.

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

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Tomiyasu, Soumaoro, Danilo, Dijks; Schouten, Svanberg; Orsolini, Soriano, Barrow; Palacio


SM words green background

We say: Crotone 1-3 Bologna

No matter who takes the field or sits in the dugout at Stadio Ezio Scida, hapless Crotone can find no way of shutting out opponents and are prone to collapse when falling behind.

With a nearly fully-fit squad now at his disposal, Sinisa Mihajlovic has eased his team up the standings and clear of relegation concerns, so can play with the handbrake off against limited opposition 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:curl


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How you voted: Crotone vs Bologna

Crotone
13.7%
Draw
23.5%
Bologna
62.7%
51
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AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates scoring against Crotone in Serie A on February 7, 2021
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11SPALSPAL521210647
12Parma52129727
13Cosenza CalcioCosenza521268-27
14Monza51314406
15Ternana5113711-44
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18Pordenone CalcioPordenone5014112-111
19Vicenza5005411-70
20Alessandria5005715-80

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