MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 18:42:15| >> :600:1654700:1654700:
May 8, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Friuli
UdineseUdinese
1-1
BolognaBologna
De Paul (23')
Walace (66')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Orsolini (82' pen.)
Schouten (30')

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

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

Locked together on points in the Serie A standings, mid-table rivals Udinese and Bologna meet at the Dacia Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Both seeking to sneak into the top half of the table with a win, neither side has been in top form of late, so will now look to finish the season with a flourish.


Match preview

Udinese head coach Luca Gotti pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Still to confirm their Serie A survival - hovering eight points above the drop zone heading into the weekend's action - inconsistent Udinese will aim to drag themselves over the line with a win against Bologna, who sit just beneath them on goal difference.

Five defeats from their last seven matches represents a major stumble for Luca Gotti's squad, yet hopes of catching 10th-placed Verona also remain realistic, as Hellas have been toiling of late and Udinese are still just three points behind their Venetian counterparts.

With visits to both Champions league-chasing Napoli and new league champions Inter yet to come, the Zebrette will have their work cut out, however.

Certainly, during Udinese's most recent setback - last week's 2-1 reverse against Juventus - they pushed their fellow Bianconeri hard, but ultimately succumbed to Capocannoniere leader Cristiano Ronaldo's late brace.

Gotti's men were punished for another error by playmaker Rodrigo De Paul - who was needlessly sent off against Crotone last month - after their captain stuck out an elbow to block Ronaldo's free kick, conceding a 89th-minute penalty: the fifth game in a row that Udinese have given away a spot kick.

Despite such poor form - the Friulian side have lost each of their last four outings at the Dacia Arena - they have won each of their last four home games against Saturday's opponents; losing just once in the clubs' last seven meetings overall.

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic looks dejected after the match on January 24, 2021© Reuters

In spite of an unexpected hat-trick from previously goal-shy Rodrigo Palacio last time out, Bologna were held to a 3-3 draw by a Fiorentina side who scored with each of their three shots on target.

Palacio's heroics aside, it was 20-year-old Emanuel Vignato - with assists for each of the former Inter forward's strikes - who was instrumental in helping the Rossoblu fight back last Sunday, after falling behind on three separate occasions. At just over half his attacking colleague's age (Palacio is now 39), Italy Under-20s starlet Vignato could have a bright future at the Emilian club, having broken into the first team squad this season.

As Bologna are yet to mathematically secure survival, his input could be integral during Bologna's next three matches - all against bottom-half opponents - before a final day encounter with deposed champions Juventus.

On their previous road trip, Sinisa Mihajlovic's side suffered their heaviest defeat of the season when they were thrashed 5-0 at Atalanta and have suffered a series of setbacks on opposition territory throughout the campaign.

In fact, ahead of this weekend's trip north to Udine, the Felsinei are ranked 18th of 20 Serie A sides in terms of away records in 2020-21, having won just three times outside of the Dall'Ara this term.

Udinese Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L

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



Team News

Ignacio Pussetto in action for Udinese on April 2, 2019© Reuters

Udinese coach Luca Gotti saw exciting forward Jayden Braaf (knee) added to his list of attacking absentees last week, as Ignacio Pussetto, Gerard Deulofeu and Ilija Nestorovski are all out for the rest of the season.

However, highly-rated goalkeeper Juan Musso returns after serving a suspension versus Juventus, so will come back in for deputy Simone Scuffet as the Zebrette's last line of defence.

Manchester City loanee Braaf's absence means that a more conventional target-man such as Stefano Okaka or Fernando Llorente - currently struggling with a back issue - should start as the hosts' lone striker on Saturday.

While Bologna's long injury list still includes Aaron Hickey (shoulder), Nicolas Dominguez (knee), Gary Medel, Mitchell Dijks (thigh) and Nicola Sansone (calf), the latter pair could contend for a comeback this weekend, depending on their progress.

Key midfielder Jerdy Schouten is definitely back for the Rossoblu after being suspended last time out, so should regain his starting spot - perhaps at the unfortunate Emanuel Vignato's expense.

Meanwhile, up front, tireless veteran Rodrigo Palacio - who had netted just once in 31 league appearances before becoming the oldest Serie A hat-trick scorer last week - is set to start once again.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Becao, Bonifazi, Nuytinck; Molina, De Paul, Walace, Arslan, Larsen; Pereyra; Okaka

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


SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-1 Bologna

As both teams are virtually safe from the threat of relegation - needing only a point to be sure of survival - a draw could well be the outcome in Friuli.

The pair share a meagre goal threat at home and away respectively - Udinese have notched just 13 times at the Dacia Arena, while Bologna have bagged only 15 on the road - so efforts on target may be at a premium in a low-scoring draw.



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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How you voted: Udinese vs Bologna

Udinese
66.7%
Draw
23.8%
Bologna
9.5%
21
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420

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