MX23RW : Tuesday, July 27 12:32:19| >> :120:56222:56222:
Oct 25, 2020 at 5pm UK at Stadio Artemio Franchi
FiorentinaFiorentina
3-2
UdineseUdinese
Castrovilli (11', 51'), Milenkovic (21')
Castrovilli (63')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Okaka (43', 86')
Arslan (41'), Pussetto (66'), Becao (85')

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

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

Faltering Fiorentina take on one of their favourite Serie A rivals on Sunday, as struggling Udinese visit Stadio Artemio Franchi.

La Viola have a fine recent record against the Friulian side and will hope for it to remain intact, as they search desperately for some consistent form under coach Beppe Iachini.


Match preview

Fiorentina head coach Giuseppe Iachini pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Fiorentina are unbeaten in their last eight league matches against Udinese, registering five wins and the same number of clean sheets in the process - their last defeat came back in 2016.

They have also won each of their last 12 home games against Sunday's visitors; in fact, only Juventus (with 35) have won more home games than Fiorentina (29) against Udinese in Serie A history.

Precedent will count for little, though, if Iachini's men continue to toil through the opening part of the season.

Last week, they enjoyed a perfect start against promoted Spezia - netting twice in the first five minutes through defenders German Pezzella and Cristiano Biraghi- but they then contrived to squander that advantage, only drawing 2-2 in the end.

Such wild inconsistency has characterised Fiorentina's play so far, undermining their stated aim of contending for European football next year.

Their underwhelming start has already prompted so-called 'crisis talks'; Iachini coming together with ambitious club president Rocco Commisso and sporting director Daniele Prade to discuss matters during the week.

Summer signings Jose Callejon, Giacomo Bonaventura, and Sofyan Amrabat have hardly hit the ground running, with the creative burden remaining firmly on Franck Ribery's ageing shoulders.

Franck Ribery in action for Fiorentina in September 2020© Reuters

Though they have scored the opening goal in three of their four games, turning the early advantage into points has proved more challenging.

Their northern counterparts have, too, endured a tough start to the campaign. They are buoyed, though, by a last-gasp 3-2 win against Parma last weekend and will hope to build on that first win of 2020-21 in Florence.

Udinese were missing regulars such as Rolando Mandragora, Juan Musso, Walace, Mato Jajalo, Jens Stryger Larsen and Dutch defender Bram Nuytinck against the Gialloblu, but fought hard to seal the win through winger Ignacio Pussetto's goal.

Gerard Deulofeu, newly arrived from Pozzo-owned Watford, made his debut and gifted playmaker Rodrigo De Paul came to the fore, offering promising signs of progress for Luca Gotti's side.

The Bianconeri will be wary, however, as they have conceded the first goal of the match in all four of their Serie A games this season - in stark contrast to Fiorentina's fast starts.

They have struggled to effectively defend in wide areas this term due to Gotti's propensity to select physically imposing but less mobile central defenders. The most fruitful avenue of attack against them is likely to be for Fiorentina's tricky wide men to cut inside and run at their less agile opponents.

That much-needed win, in week four, leaves the Zebrette in 17th place in the table, with a season-long battle against relegation most likely on the cards. They do lead Serie A in successful dribbles per game, largely thanks to the input of the mercurial De Paul, and offer a significant threat at set pieces.

With pressure weighing most heavily on the home side, Udinese may well feel that they can overcome continuing injury problems to steal something from this game.

An intriguing clash, amid the autumnal beauty of Tuscany, will be the 100th competitive meeting between the two clubs, dating back to the 1930s, and promises to be a closely contested affair.

Fiorentina Serie A form: WLLD

Udinese Serie A form: LLLW


Team News

Udinese manager Luca Gotti pictured in July 2020© Reuters

For the Viola, Ribery will be paired with either Dusan Vlahovic or Christian Kouame; Patrick Cutrone, on loan from Wolves, remains in reserve.

Iachini will at least have the majority of his squad to choose from - a rarity in these times. There may well be a change in midfield, where ex-Verona man Amrabat has struggled as the holding player - Erick Pulgar and Alfred Duncan are breathing down his neck for a start.

Udinese manager Luca Gotti faces some major selection headaches, especially at the back. First choice goalkeeper Musso (knee), Nuytinck (hamstring), Kevin Bonifazi and Sebastian Prodl are unavailable, while wing-back Stryger Larsen is still missing.

The Zebrette customarily line up in a straightforward 3-5-2, so Gotti will choose from Pussetto, Deulofeu, Roberto Pereyra, Kevin Lasagna and Stefano Okaka in attacking roles.

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

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Nicolas; Becao, De Maio, Samir; ter Avest, De Paul, Arslan, Pereyra, Ouwejan; Lasagna, Okaka


SM words green background

We say: Fiorentina 1-0 Udinese

Hosts Fiorentina will see this as a game they simply must win, given Udinese's treatment table troubles and misfiring attack.

The under-pressure Tuscan side can edge a tight affair, thanks to their superior attacking capabilities: Jose Callejon's return to full fitness, in particular, could give Franck Ribery some much appreciated assistance in the creative department at the Artemio Franchi.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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Udinese manager Luca Gotti pictured in July 2020
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· Team GB trio Vicky Holland, Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jess Learmonth all have realistic medal hopes in the women's event (10.30pm-1am)

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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atalanta BCAtalanta00000000
2Bologna00000000
3CagliariCagliari00000000
4Empoli00000000
5Fiorentina00000000
6Genoa00000000
7Hellas VeronaHellas Verona00000000
8Inter Milan00000000
9Juventus00000000
10Lazio00000000
11AC Milan00000000
12Napoli00000000
13Roma00000000
14Salernitana00000000
15Sampdoria00000000
16SassuoloSassuolo00000000
17SpeziaSpezia00000000
18Torino00000000
19Udinese00000000
20VeneziaVenezia00000000

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