MX23RW : Wednesday, April 14 04:19:29| >> :600:386899:386899:
Feb 28, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Friuli
Nestorovski (86')
Llorente (73')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Martinez (64'), Kokorin (90+2')

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

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

Two teams with identical Serie A records this campaign face one another on Sunday as Udinese host Fiorentina.

The visitors are looking to win only their second top-flight match on the road and claim successive league victories for the first time this season, while Udinese, who have not beaten La Viola since April 2016, could go four home games unbeaten if they avoid defeat this weekend.

Match preview

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

Udinese moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone last weekend as they came from behind to draw 2-2 in a fiery contest against Parma, which saw 11 bookings handed out by Italian referee Marco Piccinini.

The Friulians were two goals down in the opening 32 minutes of the match, but in the second half Luca Gotti's men came out fighting and strikes from Stefano Okaka and Bram Nuytinck earned the visitors a hard-fought point.

A recent upturn in form has seen Udinese accumulate 28% of their Serie A points from their last six matches, with two wins and three draws steering them away from a potential relegation battle.

Gotti will be hoping that his side can maintain their positive form and claim three points against a Fiorentina outfit that they have failed to beat in each of their last 10 meetings in all competitions.

Two of these meetings have been this campaign, firstly a 3-2 away defeat in the league back in October before a narrow 1-0 loss in the Coppa Italia the following month.

Udinese are currently in 13th, sitting just one place above Fiorentina on goal difference, and a win on Sunday could move them two points behind Sampdoria, who are positioned just inside the top half.

Fiorentina manager Cesare Prandelli pictured in February 2021© Reuters

Fiorentina bounced back from successive league defeats with a convincing 3-0 victory against Spezia last Friday.

Second-half strikes from Dusan Vlahovic, Gaetano Castrovilli and Valentin Eysseric earned Cesare Prandelli's side their third home win in four league matches and helped them climb two places up to 14th in Serie A, 10 points clear of the bottom three.

Fiorentina's home form has been their saving grace in what has been another disappointing top-flight campaign so far; when taking just home results into account, La Viola would be ninth in Serie A this season, a stark contrast when looking at away form only, which would see them positioned in 19th place.

Their solitary away victory this campaign was a surprise 3-0 triumph against Scudetto holders Juventus back in December, accumulating half of this season's away points from this one result.

Fiorentina's task on Sunday is to not only improve their away form but to try and push themselves back into the top 10, where they have finished in seven of the last eight Serie A campaigns.

La Viola have an impressive record against Udinese in recent seasons, winning seven of their last nine meetings in all competitions, drawing the other two, scoring 14 goals in the process.

Another three points secured against the Friulians this weekend would see Fiorentina leapfrog their opponents up to 11th in the table.

Udinese Serie A form: DDWWLD

Fiorentina Serie A form: LWDLLW

Team News

Franck Ribery in action for Fiorentina in September 2020© Reuters

Udinese will be without suspended pair Roberto Pereyra and Marvin Zeegelaar, while Mato Jajalo (knee), Fernando Forestieri (thigh) and Ignacio Pussetto (knee) remain unavailable through injury.

Gerard Deulofeu remains a doubt for Sunday's game with a knee problem, which could see Okaka partner Fernando Llorente upfront.

In the absence of Zeegelaar, right wing-back Nahuel Molina is likely to come into the side, with Jens Stryger Larsen switching to the left wing-back position.

For Fiorentina, Giacomo Bonaventura is the only player unavailable through injury, while experienced forward Franck Ribery is fit and is likely to start up front alongside Vlahovic, who has scored five Serie A goals since the turn of the year.

In Bonaventura's absence, Castrovilli is set to come into La Viola's starting XI to play in central midfield with Sofyan Amrabat and Erick Pulgar.

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

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Martinez Quarta; Venuti, Amrabat, Pulgar, Castrovilli, Biraghi; Ribery, Vlahovic

SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-1 Fiorentina

A win for either side on Sunday would most likely keep them away from any potential relegation battle this campaign and draw their attention to the top half instead of the bottom three.

Fiorentina's abysmal away form is halting their progress in Serie A but facing an Udinese outfit that they have impressed against in recent seasons could breed confidence into Prandelli's side.

The hosts, however, have improved their own form of late which could see a tight encounter this weekend, with a draw a likely result at the Stadio Friuli.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic pictured in action in Serie A on July 22, 2020
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