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Lecce logo
Serie A | Gameweek 14
Dec 3, 2023 at 11.30am UK
Stadio Comunale Via del Mare
Bologna logo
1 - 1
Piccoli (90+10' pen.)
Ramadani (45'), Pongracic (84'), Sansone (89')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Lykogiannis (68')
Saelemaekers (50'), Calafiori (90+8')

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

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

Two sides who have punched above their weight in Serie A this season meet at the Stadio Via del Mare, when Lecce host Bologna on Sunday.

Hosts Lecce have fallen off slightly, but Bologna remain the surprise package of the season so far under Thiago Motta.

Match preview

Lecce's Federico Di Francesco celebrates scoring their second goal on August 20, 2023© Reuters

Roberto D'Aversa came in for rave reviews after the start he made with Lecce this season, with the relative minnows threatening the Champions League places.

However, as expected, they have been unable to keep up that sort of form and have since slipped into the bottom half.

A run of nine games without a win has started to become slightly concerning, but Lecce won enough points early in the campaign to keep themselves away from trouble for now, but they must pick up again soon.

A heroic performance against AC Milan recently should have provided them with that long-awaited win though, as they came from 2-0 down to level the match, before having a goal questionably ruled out by VAR.

Surrendering leads themselves has been a problem for D'Aversa's men, though, as they lost at Roma despite being 1-0 up going into stoppage time, and they threw away the lead twice against Hellas Verona last weekend to draw 2-2.

Based on those last three games alone, it is no surprise to see Lecce have dropped seven points after scoring first but have also gained seven after conceding the opener.

These two sides have met four times in recent history, during the 2019-20 and 2022-23 seasons, and Bologna have won three of those games 3-2, including here on the final day last season when Lewis Ferguson netted a 97th-minute winner.

Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on October 7, 2023© Reuters

Bologna have kicked on immensely from last season too, with Motta proving himself to be one of the most promising young managers in Europe.

Motta's side find themselves up in sixth, above the likes of Atalanta BC, Fiorentina and Lazio, having only lost once since the opening day.

Away from home, Bologna have been an incredibly frustrating side to play against, as both the top two - Inter Milan and Juventus - were unable to beat them.

After a promising start, the Rossoblu have continued to improve and have now taken 17 points from a possible 24 in their last eight.

All six of their wins this season have come at home though, so if they are to maintain a challenge for Europe, more wins away from home will be required, even if they only suffered a first defeat on the road in their last outing against Fiorentina, after starting with five straight draws.

Eight clean sheets from their 15 games suggests Motta can take his knowledge of being a world-class defensive midfielder in his day into setting up a pragmatic side who can compete with the very best.

Lecce Serie A form:

Lecce form (all competitions):

Bologna Serie A form:

Bologna form (all competitions):

Team News

Lecce's Nikola Krstovic on November 11, 2023© Reuters

After scoring their opener at the Stadio Olimpico, Rostov loanee Pontus Almqvist has missed the last two games with injury for Lecce.

That has opened the door for Nicola Sansone to return, but Gabriel Strefezza has been unfortunate to miss out, and he could be given a start here on the wing.

The goals have dried up for Montenegrin striker Nikola Krstovic after a blistering start in Serie A, as the forward has failed to find the net in any of his last seven starts for club and country.

Mohamed Kaba is the only other injury concern for D'Aversa, as the midfielder is a doubt for this one with a muscle issue.

While performing stoutly without him, Motta will hope he can welcome back Riccardo Orsolini to the Bologna side from a hamstring injury soon, but he is doubtful.

Also doubts are Kevin Bonifazi with a back injury, and Oussama El Azzouzi, who has missed the last four games after going off within 15 minutes of being subbed on against Sassuolo.

For Adama Soumaoro, Jesper Karlsson and Tommaso Corazza, their focus will be on recovery, as none will return before 2023 is out.

Lecce possible starting lineup:
Falcone; Gendrey, Pongracic, Baschirotto, Dorgu; Oudin, Ramadani, Gonzalez; Gabriel Strefezza, Krstovic, Banda

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Posch, Beukema, Calafiori, Kristiansen; Freuler, Aebischer, Ferguson; Ndoye, Zirkzee, Saelemaekers

SM words green background

We say: Lecce 1-1 Bologna

It will be intriguing to see if Bologna can maintain this fantastic start which has them in the running for the top four, but they are still yet to win away from home this season.

Over two-thirds of Lecce's points have come at home, and the likes of Milan and Lazio have been unable to win here, so another Bologna away draw could be on the cards.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 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 2.5:data

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Bologna's Lewis Ferguson celebrates scoring their first goal with Nikola Moro on May 28, 2023
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