MX23RW : Friday, April 23 01:27:38| >> :600:279132:279132:
Feb 7, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Friuli
UdineseUdinese
2-0
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Silvestri (83' og.), Deulofeu (90+1')
Llorente (25'), Arslan (31')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Tameze (18'), Dawidowicz (24'), Zaccagni (35'), Faraoni (86')

Preview: Udinese vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Seeking to extend their unbeaten run to a fourth league game, Udinese entertain Hellas Verona on Sunday, with continuing their ascent of the Serie A standings upmost in their thoughts.

Their Venetian visitors will arrive at Stadio Friuli following two wins and two defeats from their last four outings - with the added intrigue of having just signed their hosts' star striker in the transfer window.


Match preview

Udinese's Kevin Lasagna celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Udinese's 1-0 win at Stadio Alberto Picco, against Spezia last week, finally brought to an end a nine-match winless streak - which included five draws - and lifted Luca Gotti's side to 13th in the table. That win also brought their second clean sheet in succession, with the last time they enjoyed three consecutive Serie A shut-outs coming as far back as March 2014.

The Friulani now aim to end a five-match home streak without victory since November's success against Genoa, having gained encouraging draws against both Atalanta and Inter at the Dacia Arena in recent weeks.

This Sunday's opponents have edged ahead of Udinese over the past couple of years - both in terms of standing in the Serie A pecking order and head-to-head results between the clubs - as the Bianconeri have failed to win any of the last three top-flight matches between them.

After suffering long barren spells during a difficult campaign both individually and for his former club, Kevin Lasagna departed for Verona late last month, leaving as Udinese's cumulative top scorer since 2017-18, with 30 league goals. His erstwhile teammates will be all too aware of the threat the speedy striker can pose but should at least have the inside track on how to stop him.

Lasagna's ready-made replacement Fernando Llorente scored his very first Serie A goal against Verona, while at Juventus in 2013. Having arrived in Udine from the Napoli subs bench, the experienced target man could prove a useful foil for Udinese's talented technicians, such as Gerard Deulofeu, Ignacio Pussetto and Rodrigo De Paul.

Though inspirational captain De Paul will be missing through suspension this week, after he was sent off having already scored the decisive goal against Spezia, coach Gotti will be sufficiently buoyed by recent performances to consider their latest engagement a realistic shot at maximum points.

Hellas Verona's Federico Dimarco celebrates scoring their first goal on January 24, 2021© Reuters

Having made his debut from the bench in last Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Roma, Lasagna's return to the city of Verona - having started his Calcio journey at city rivals Chievo, aged 10 - poses some interesting questions for Hellas head coach Ivan Juric.

Joining a club which is constantly growing and coached by an explicitly ambitious manager, the striker cited getting back into the Italy squad ahead of this summer's Euros as one of his key objectives for the move. However, it remains to be seen whether he will start ahead of Nikola Kalinic - who has struggled for goals but remains a class act - or even be paired with him, should Juric tweak his well-honed tactical system.

As with Udinese, it has been in front of goal where Verona have flattered to deceive this term, with playmaking pair Mattia Zaccagni (six goals, five assists) and Antonin Barak (four goals) shouldering the lion's share of goalscoring responsibility to date.

The Gialloblu's tally of 26 represents the worst strike rate among top-half clubs, not aided by the fact that they have hit the post 12 times so far, fewer only than Milan's league-high total of 15. Certainly, the strength of Juric's team remains the defence - statistically the third best in the league after high-flyers Juventus and Napoli.

To hang onto any serious hopes of qualifying for Europe next season, Verona must capitalise in games such as this Sunday's. When they last met Udinese in Serie A, Hellas came out on top at the Bentegodi last September - a repeat of the dose would be gladly welcomed by the ever-demanding Juric and his well-drilled side.

Udinese Serie A form: DLLDDW

Hellas Verona Serie A form: WDWLWL


Team News

Udinese head coach Luca Gotti pictured on January 10, 2021© Reuters

Luca Gotti's squad will have to face Verona without their suspended skipper Rodrigo De Paul, so Udinese's midfield three could comprise Tolgay Arslan, Walace and Roberto Pereyra, who has often played in a more advanced role this season.

As strikers Stefano Okaka - who has returned to training following thigh surgery - and Fernando Forestieri are still out of action, Fernando Llorente is in contention for a full debut, with Gerard Deulofeu likely to play off the former Tottenham man up front.

Though Samir returns after suspension, Bram Nuytinck should continue on the left of Gotti's back three, in a familiar 3-5-1-1 setup.

Verona could be set to hand Kevin Lasagna a first start in attack, though it would be a bold move for Ivan Juric to drop regular centre-forward Nikola Kalinic. Whoever does lead the line will be supported by the ever-inventive duo of Antonin Barak and Mattia Zaccagni.

Captain Miguel Veloso, Marco Benassi, new loan-signing Stefano Sturaro and Ronaldo Vieira join Andrea Favilli - scorer of the winner the last time Hellas met Udinese - on the sidelines due to injury.

Federico Dimarco could be drafted back into the defence after his teammates conceded three in his absence last week, with Federico Ceccherini missing out.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Nuytinck, Bonifazi, Becao; Larsen, Walace, Arslan, Pereyra, Zeegelaar; Deulofeu; Llorente

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Dawidowicz, Gunter, Dimarco; Faraoni, Ilic, Tameze, Lazovic; Barak, Zaccagni; Lasagna


SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-0 Hellas Verona

Verona's inconsistent phase may continue in Udine this week, as the improving home side can put a stop to their winless streak on home turf.

Even in the absence of star man Rodrigo De Paul, the Bianconeri are capable of grinding out a hard-fought win - perhaps even with a goal from wily winter signing Fernando Llorente sealing the deal.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw 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/Draw:data


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Roma manager Paulo Fonseca pictured on January 15, 2021
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6Lazio3118495346758
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8SassuoloSassuolo32131095450449
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10Hellas VeronaHellas Verona32118134040041
11Bologna32108144448-438
12Udinese3299143442-836
13Fiorentina3289154153-1233
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15SpeziaSpezia3289154260-1833
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