Monday, January 25
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Nov 29, 2020 at 2pm UK
Soriano (45+2')
Hickey (30'), Palacio (74')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Petriccione (15'), Marrone (19'), Magallan (58'), Luperto (72')

Preview: Bologna vs. Crotone - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bologna vs. Crotone - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Bologna and Crotone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Looking to shake off midweek Coppa Italia heartbreak, Bologna host rock-bottom Crotone on Sunday - apparently presenting Sinisa Mihajlovic's side with the perfect opportunity to lift their spirits.

Serie A's only winless side travel to Emilia-Romagna desperately in need of points to keep in touch with their fellow relegation battlers, while the Rossoblu aim for a third win in four league games.

Match preview

Last weekend, the Felsinei recorded a come-from-behind away win at Sampdoria, while Crotone surrendered to the rapier-like finishing of Lazio's Ciro Immobile on a rain-ruined pitch in Calabria.

For Bologna, that hard-earned victory at the Marassi lifted them to twelfth in the table on nine points - Mihajlovic's team have not yet recorded any draws in Serie A, with three wins and five defeats so far.

Despite naming a relatively strong side in midweek, Bologna crashed out of the Coppa Italia by losing 4-2 at home to Serie A surprise package Spezia. Their extra-time defeat was a bitter pill to swallow and leaves all their focus now on attaining a top-half finish.

Bologna's apparent Achilles' heel in recent times has undoubtedly been their defence, as they have conceded at least once in each of their last 41 Serie A matches – only Bordeaux in 1960, with 42, have had a longer streak without any clean sheets in the top five European Leagues.

If they can finally keep the back door shut on Sunday, the Rossoblu have every chance of seeing off the league's only winless side. Particularly as, since July, striker Musa Barrow - who scored in the cup on Wednesday - has scored six goals from open play in home matches, which is the joint-best current record in Serie A alongside Francesco Caputo of Sassuolo.

This game, however, may ultimately be the best opportunity promoted Crotone have of breaking their duck for 2020-21.

Taking into account Bologna's defensive deficiencies and the fact that Gli Squali have actually won their two most recent Serie A encounters with Sunday's opposition, Giovanni Stroppa's side must hold out hope of a first maximum points haul.

They have now recorded a streak of 11 games without a win in the top flight, with three draws and eight defeats stretching back to their unsuccessful 2017-18 campaign. In addition, Crotone have yet to score in two consecutive games, due to the paucity of goalscoring support for main striker Simy.

The experienced Nigerian is their leading scorer with three goals but will need teammates such as Ahmad Benali and the returning Salvatore Molina - who had been a notably dynamic presence before contracting COVID-19 - to step up their creative contribution.

After the visit of Napoli next week, Crotone will face Spezia and Udinese - games from which they must accumulate points or face being cut adrift even before the winter break. Certainly, an unlikely away win at the Dall'Ara this week would be received with joy and relief in equal measure by Stroppa's struggling charges.

Bologna Serie A form: LLLWLW
Bologna form (all competitions): LWWLWL

Crotone Serie A form: LDLLDL
Crotone form (all competitions): DLDLDL

Team News

The majority of Sinisa Mihajlovic's injured players returned last week, with only Andreas Skov Olsen (back injury) and Matthijs Dijks (thigh) still out until next month and long-term absentee Federico Santander not due back from his ACL tear until next year.

Scottish full-back Aaron Hickey also returned to the squad for the midweek cup defeat and could start on Sunday in Bologna's 4-2-3-1, in which Riccardo Orsolini and chief goal threat Musa Barrow will flank Roberto Soriano behind goal-shy Rodrigo Palacio.

For visitors Crotone, Sebastiano Luperto has served his suspension and is available again, while Salvatore Molina returns from quarantine to contend for a start.

Defender Vladimir Golemic's participation is in doubt, so he will face a late fitness test. Andrea Rispoli is definitely out with a knee injury, perhaps for the next fortnight.

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; De Silvestri, Danilo, Tomiyasu, Hickey; Medel, Svanberg; Orsolini, Soriano, Barrow; Palacio

Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Magallan, Marrone, Luperto; Molina, Petriccione, Cigarini, Benali, Reca; Messias, Simy

We say: Bologna 1-0 Crotone

It takes a brave bet to back Bologna for a clean sheet - as they have failed to manage one in recent memory - but this may finally be the day the Felsinei achieve that minor milestone.

Crotone are anchored to the foot of the table for a reason, as their attacking threat is minimal and their three-man defence unreliable. Bologna's wide players can take advantage of such frailties to seal another Serie A win.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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