Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Empoli vs Bologna - Match Preview
⚽ 4 May 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Paolo Zanetti had some choice words to say about his Empoli side after blowing a 1-0 lead to lose in the final ten minutes against Sassuolo in the previous round. That result extended their winless run to four Serie A (SA) games (D1, L3) and left them in a state of relative peril as they entered this round just five points above the drop zone with 18 left to play for.
Returning to the Stadio Carlo Castellani isn’t guaranteed to provide the catalyst for success either, as their only home league win in the last six games here came against one of the five sides below them (W1, D2, L3). The visit of Bologna presents a much tougher challenge, not least because Empoli haven’t won any home league games against sides beginning the round in the top-nine (D1, L5).
The visitors were arguably unlucky not to defeat Juventus on Sunday after enjoying more goal attempts (16) and the majority of possession (55%). That eventual 1-1 draw ultimately extended Bologna’s winless run to three games (D2, L1) and left Thiago Motta’s faint hopes of a top-six finish hanging by a thread with an almost insurmountable 12-point gap to make up.
The visitors will at least hope to continue the trend that has seen each of their last five away games post differing results in the sequence (W2, D1, L2) after losing their latest trip to Verona. The fact Bologna will enter this clash as pre-match favourites should provide some solace at least, as they’ve lost just twice in such league games at any venue this season (W5, D6, L2).
📋 Players to watch: Empoli had played over five hours of football without a goal before Nicolò Cambiaghi ended their drought in the last round, yet he didn’t win any of his last three scoring appearances (D2, L1). As for Bologna, Musa Barrow made four goal contributions across their last two victories (G1, A3) and could prove the catalyst to end their current winless run.
⚡ Hot stat: Both teams have scored in 19 of Bologna’s SA games this season (59%). That’s a second league-high!
Udinese vs Napoli - Match Preview
⚽ 4 May 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
With just six Serie A (SA) games remaining, Udinese epitomises the position lots of teams tend to find themselves in at this stage of the season, as they simply have nothing left to play for. Whilst it would maybe be unfair to suggest they’re already ‘on the beach’, that statement perhaps isn’t too inaccurate, as their 1-0 defeat to a struggling Lecce on Friday night would suggest.
That was a third successive away league defeat without scoring for Udinese, who should be relieved to return home where they are unbeaten in six SA outings (W2, D4). Any optimism drawn from that run is surely dampened when they see champions-elect Napoli are next to visit, and that largely owes to the fact Udinese haven’t won an H2H since April 2016 (D1, L13 since).
Lazio’s defeat against Inter Milan in Sunday’s earlier kick-off opened up the chance for Napoli to win the Scudetto against Salernitana later in the day, but a 1-1 draw ensured they will have to wait just a little longer to officially end their 33-year drought. Napoli will have the advantage of knowing what will be required of them following Lazio’s game against Sassuolo the previous evening, with the potential heading into this round that they may not even need to collect any more points to claim the title.
If Napoli’s recent away league form is anything to go by, then their fate should be sealed here considering they’ve clocked up eight successive SA wins on the road, a run that’s made all the more remarkable by the fact Luciano Spalletti’s side conceded just once across all eight games. Napoli hasn’t quite been as watertight in Thursday-held SA away games though, securing just one shut-out from their last six such games (W1, D2, L3).
📋 Players to watch: A man for home comforts, Udinese’s Beto has scored in three of their last four home league outings, levelling the score in two of those. Meanwhile, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen opened the scoring in the reverse fixture and has interestingly netted four of his last five goals with headers.
⚡ Hot stat: Napoli is the only SA side not to have trailed an away league game at half-time this season (HT: W9, D7).
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