MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 12:53:29| >> :600:4916975:4916975:
Oct 18, 2020 at 5pm UK at Dacia Arena
Samir (28'), Iacoponi (52' og.), Pussetto (88')
Becao (32'), Arslan (44'), Makengo (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Hernani (26'), Karamoh (70')
Brugman (57'), Iacoponi (73')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday evening's Serie A encounter between Udinese and Parma, including prediction, team news and possible lineups.

Pointless Udinese welcome Parma on Sunday evening, with both sides desperately needing a fresh start in Serie A after the international hiatus.

The home side have lost all three games to date, even failing to register at home to promoted minnows Spezia, while the visitors have fared little better - only picking up their first points at home to Verona last time out.

Match preview

Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Udinese have not only failed to take a point, they have yet to score a solitary goal, so Luca Gotti will surely consider throwing signings Ignacio Pussetto and Gerard Deulofeu - both from fellow Pozzo-owned club Watford - into the fray at some stage.

Once those two, alongside another Vicarage Road alumnus, Roberto Pereyra, are embedded in the starting XI, the prospects of a season in mid-table comfort seem more attainable for the Friulian side.

However, for now the attacking emphasis will fall upon the Zebrette's misfiring front pair Stefano Okaka and skipper Kevin Lasagna.

Vice-captain Rodrigo De Paul - for so long linked with a switch to Leeds United in the summer - must also step up to the plate sooner rather than later.

Fortunately for the Bianconeri, Parma have conceded at a rate of two goals per game this season, but with the likes of Hernani, Juraj Kucka and Gervinho in harness, the visitors have sufficient attacking talents to cause some damage going forward.

Parma manager Fabio Liverani pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Last season saw Parma do the double over Sunday's opponents. They defeated Udinese 3-1 at the Dacia Arena last September, then 2-0 at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in January.

Those results were befitting of their recent record in this fixture. It was 2014-15 – when the club were humiliatingly relegated and declared bankrupt – that Udinese last defeated Parma in Serie A.

Since their remarkable resurrection soon after, the club have gone from strength to strength. Now they are fully re-established as a Serie A mainstay and one-time Leyton Orient boss Fabio Liverani will be expected to win such games against their fellow middleweight rivals this season.

Given their respective problems with injuries and COVID-19 infections this week, both Udinese and Parma will not be at full strength. Nonetheless, an intriguing match is in prospect.

Udinese Serie A form: LLL

Parma Serie A form: LLW

Team News

Udinese manager Luca Gotti pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Home side Udinese have several senior players absent through injury. Midfield duo Rolando Mandragora and Mato Jajalo, right-back Jens Stryger Larsen, centre-half Bram Nuytinck (quad) and goalkeeper Juan Musso (torn meniscus) will all miss out, while midfielder Walace is doubtful.

Wylan Cyprien, on loan from Nice, is set to make his first appearance for Parma in midfield, alongside the creative forces of Kucka and Jasmin Kurtic.

However, the Gialloblu have registered four positive COVID-19 tests this week, as Roberto Inglese, Juan Brunetta, Jacopo Dezi and Lautaro Valenti sit the game out.

Mattia Sprocati, Maxime Busi, Denmark striker Andreas Cornelius - with a thigh strain - and Valentin Mihala are all injured too.

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

Parma possible starting lineup:
Sepe; Laurini, Iacoponi, Alves, Gagliolo; Cyprien, Hernani, Kurtic; Kucka; Karamoh, Gervinho

SM words green background

We say: Udinese 1-1 Parma

With both sides desperate for points and momentum already, it is likely that it will be a close-fought encounter at the Dacia Arena on Sunday.

Injury-hit Udinese must surely get off the mark - in terms of both goals and points - but their visitors, Parma, are capable of finding the net at least once themselves. In the final analysis, a draw could be an acceptable outcome for both sides.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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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Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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