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Jul 15, 2020 at 8.45pm UK at Dacia Arena

Okaka (3'), Stryger Larsen (45+1')

Caicedo (16'), Felipe (39'), Alberto (83')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Serie A clash between Udinese and Lazio, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two sides looking to bounce back from respective defeats at the weekend will lock horns in Serie A on Wednesday as Udinese play host to Lazio at the Stadio Friuli.

Udinese suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Sampdoria last time out, whereas Lazio's title charge was dealt another huge blow as they fell victim to a late Francesco Caputo winner during a painful 2-1 loss to Sassuolo.

Match preview

Udinese boss Luca Gotti in November 2019.© Reuters

Udinese's three-game winning run in the Italian top flight came to an abrupt end as Sampdoria cruised to victory over Luca Gotti's men in gameweek 32.

Le Zebrette had enjoyed impressive victories over Roma and SPAL either side of a 2-2 draw with Genoa prior to the weekend, but the defeat to Sampdoria means that Udinese are not out of the woods just yet as they sit six points above the relegation zone.

The clash with Lazio represents the first of three challenging fixtures for Udinese in the top flight, with Gotti's side tasked with taking on Napoli and Juventus after the meeting with I Biancocelesti.

For a side that enjoyed consistent top-five finishes between 2011 and 2013, the last few campaigns have been extremely disappointing from Udinese's perspective, and Le Zebrette are still searching for their first home victory since January.

With just six games left to play in the 2019-20 campaign, it is imperative that Udinese try to amass as many points as possible in the coming weeks, although they should feel optimistic going into Wednesday's clash given Lazio's recent run of form.

Lazio head coach Simone Inzaghi pictured in November 2018© Reuters

Lazio are running out of time to dethrone Juventus as Serie A champions, and Simone Inzaghi's men have been a shadow of their former selves since the top flight returned to action.

I Biancocelesti have now suffered defeat in their last three league games - a statistic that is only shared by basement side SPAL - and Juventus have a comfortable eight-point lead atop the rankings despite their recent struggles as well.

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for Lazio's sudden decline in form - whether it is the hectic fixture schedule taking its toll or the mounting pressure on Inzaghi's men to usurp Juventus - I Biancocelesti have simply fallen to pieces over the past couple of weeks.

Should Lazio fail to pick up all three points against Udinese on Wednesday evening, the title race could already be well and truly over by the time Inzaghi's side make the trip to Turin to lock horns with Juventus at the weekend.

However, Lazio have enjoyed 10 victories in their last 11 meetings with Udinese across all competitions, and Le Zebrette have only netted three times against Lazio in Serie A since 2015.

Udinese Serie A form: LLWDWL

Lazio Serie A form: LWWLLL

Team News

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Rolando Mandragora and Sebastian Prodl are Udinese's only injury concerns at the minute, but other than that Gotti has a full selection of players at his disposal.

Seko Fofana and Stefano Okaka are both in line to return to the starting XI for the midweek clash, and there could be some changes in defence with Rodrigo Becao hopeful of a recall.

Lazio's Patric will serve the second of his three-game ban for biting, while Senad Lulic, Adam Marusic and Joaquin Correa remain on the treatment table.

Jordan Lukaku made his first league start of the season against Sassuolo but only lasted 45 minutes of that fixture, and Lucas Leiva will be hoping to return to the Lazio midfield.

Ciro Immobile still leads the way in the race for the Capocannoniere with 29 strikes this term, but the Italian has failed to continue his prolific form from earlier in the campaign and Cristiano Ronaldo now sits just one goal behind the Lazio frontman.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Troost-Ekong, Becao, Samir; Larsen, Paul, Fofana, Jajalo, Sema; Lasagna, Okaka

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Strakosha; Felipe, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Jony; Immobile, Caicedo

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We say: Udinese 1-2 Lazio

Given the respective form of the two sides over the past few weeks, everything points towards an Udinese triumph for Wednesday's fixture. However, we are backing the quality of Lazio's attacking players to pave the way for a narrow victory as they look to build some momentum before the crunch match with Juventus.

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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

> Today's schedule in full
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