Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Cremonese vs Empoli - Match Preview
⚽ 14 April 2023 - 16:30 GMT +0
Cremonese’s 3-2 win against Sampdoria last weekend was their first Serie A (SA) away win since March 1996 and offered the faintest of lifelines in their unlikely survival bid. Despite the victory, coach Davide Ballardini noted that they “have to be much, much better to be able to compete” as they remain ten points adrift of safety. And with five of their next eight league games against current top-ten sides, an immediate return to Serie B is looking like a grim reality.
Their form at Giovanni Zini Stadium doesn’t inspire confidence either as Cremonese have lost seven of their last eight competitive home matches (W1). As the only SA side yet to win a single point at home after conceding first (L9), there is seemingly added emphasis on Cremonese avoiding a sluggish start, but with a whopping 18 SA goals conceded in the opening half hour this term, they have developed a nasty habit of starting slow.
Mid-table Empoli held European chasing AC Milan to a goalless draw in their last league match, a result which saw their cushion to the relegation zone reduce to ten points. Despite the gap to Verona in the 18th, coach Paolo Zanetti isn’t ready to take things for granted just yet, saying after the draw with Milan that they would keep fighting until it was mathematically impossible to get relegated. They might well need to keep their focus as two of their next three games are against current top-eight sides, meaning the visitors can ill afford to let their guard down and risk being pulled into some late-season relegation drama.
On the flip side, three of Empoli’s remaining league fixtures, including this match, are trips to the current bottom-three sides, which could prove to be a double-edged sword with those teams reaching a desperation point in their survival battle! That should be enough motivation for Empoli here, as they look to maintain their proud record of having never lost a league H2H (W4, D5) after winning the reverse fixture 2-0.
📋 Key battle: Marco Carnesecchi will be hoping for a quieter afternoon here as the Cremonese ‘keeper has conceded exactly twice in his three previous H2Hs. One of the first to test him could be Nicolò Cambiaghi who has scored Empoli’s opener with his last three SA goals.
⚡ Hot stat: Empoli have conceded a league-high 6.14 corners per SA game this campaign.
Spezia vs Lazio - Match Preview
⚽ 14 April 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Spezia played the role of party poopers last weekend when they stopped their hosts Fiorentina from breaking a club record for consecutive wins within a single season. More importantly for them, that 1-1 draw helped keep the gap to the relegation zone at four points which could prove crucial as the home side bid to secure a fourth consecutive season in Serie A (SA).
On paper, Spezia’s form continues to look like a concern after securing just one win from their last 11 league outings, although they have only suffered one league defeat (W1, D4) since new boss Leonardo Semplici arrived at the club. That run will be tested here against a Lazio team who are not only flying high but also boast a dominant record of winning each of the last five H2H meetings.
The hosts will be fearing the attacking mite of the visitors given Lazio has scored a remarkable 14 goals across the last three H2H meetings. Yet, it’s been Lazio’s defence that has been getting the bulk of plaudits recently, and it’s easy to see why. The goal they conceded to Juventus in last weekend’s 2-1 win was the first league goal they had conceded in seven SA matches (W6, D1).
While Lazio is in scintillating form, they still finished the last game week a hefty 16 points behind league-leaders Napoli. Even the most optimistic Eagles fan would accept the SA title is beyond them, yet motivation to keep pushing on will surely remain as they look to finish above rivals Roma - currently in third - and secure their first top-two finish since winning the title back in 2000.
📋 Key battle: Spezia goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski secured a rare assist last time out and holds the record coming into the round of having made more SA saves than any other player (96). Lazio’s Sergej Milinković-Savić entered April in a drought, with no goal since January. But he’s scored two in two since and may be confident of adding to that after his brace in the reverse clash.
⚡ Hot stat: Lazio have scored a league-high ten goals between 0-15 minutes, while being the only SA side yet to concede in this period, too.
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