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Apr 18, 2021 at 2pm UK
Orsolini (12' pen.), Barrow (18'), Svanberg (54', 60')
Soumaoro (39')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Ismajli (34')
Bastoni (36')

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

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

A mid-table clash between Bologna and Spezia will take place on Saturday afternoon, with the hosts hoping to avoid losing three successive Serie A matches for the first time since October.

The Rosseblu have lost four of their last six league games, while the visitors head to the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara having lost five of their last six top-flight matches on the road.

Match preview

Even though Bologna were able to hold their own and had more possession in their most recent matches against Inter Milan and Roma, they came up short and lost both games by a 1-0 margin.

Borja Mayoral's goal for Roma on the stroke of half time was enough to seal the win against the Rosseblu, who suffered their 14th league defeat of the season.

Bologna currently occupy 11th place in Serie A and as there are no fears of relegation – with 12 points separating them from Cagliari in 18th – there are also no expectations of securing a Europa League spot, as they sit 11 points behind the top six.

Sinisa Mihajlovic's side have only won five of their last 20 Serie A matches, although three of those victories were claimed in the last seven games, which has prevented them from dropping any lower towards the danger zone.

Bologna have lost 11 of their last 13 league matches against sides in the top seven of Serie A, but they are unbeaten in all five top-flight home games against teams currently below them in the table.

The Rosseblu's two meetings with Spezia this season have produced a flurry of goals, excluding extra time in November's Coppa Italia clash – which was won 4-2 by the Aquilotti – both games in regular time ended 2-2.

An impressive run of home form since the turn of the year has helped Spezia climb away from danger and with 10 points separating them from the bottom three, the Aquilotti should now be confident of survival in their first every Serie A campaign.

Daniele Verde's side have accumulated 11 points from the last 15 available at the Stadio Alberto Picco, including a 3-2 victory last weekend against basement club Crotone.

This win, however, was anything but comfortable as they were trailing until the 89th minute when Giulio Maggiore tapped in from close range before defender Martin Erlic headed home a 91st-minute winner, sealing a dramatic win and taking all three points for the eighth time this season.

Spezia, who now have 32 points, sit 13th in Serie A and a top-10 finish is not out of the question, with eight matches still left to play and only four points between the Aquilotti and Sampdoria.

While their home form has improved, results on the road have been less impressive, losing each of their last four away matches. However, three of these were against Italian giants Juventus, Atalanta and Lazio, games from which they would not be expected to claim any points.

Victory for Spezia on Saturday would be their fifth in the top-flight away from home this season and their first on the road since early February.

Bologna Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Spezia Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Bologna's key defender Takehiro Tomiyasu is available for selection after recovering from a muscle problem.

However, Gary Medel (muscle), Aaron Hickey (shoulder) and Federico Santander (knee) all remain out through injury, while Lorenzo De Silvestri is doubtful after suffering a knock against Roma last weekend.

Forward Rodrigo Palacio, who has scored just once in 30 league appearances this season, started against Roma but could be replaced by Nicola Sansone, which would see Musa Barrow move into the number nine position.

For Spezia, goalkeeper Ivan Provedel is expected to start the match ahead of Jeroen Zoet after recovering from coronavirus.

Italiano is still without Federico Mattiello (fatigue) and Riccardo Saponara (ankle), while Juan Ramos is also unavailable after testing positive for COVID-19.

The midfield partnership between Maggiore and Matteo Ricci is likely to stay intact and they could be joined by either Nahuel Estevez or Tommaso Pobega.

Striker M'Bala Nzola is set to start once again ahead of Roberto Piccoli; the Angolan international – who scored a brace in the reverse fixture – found the net nine times in his first 13 top-flight appearances, but he has failed to score in his last seven games in the competition.

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Tomiyasu, Soumaoro, Danilo, Dijks; Svanberg, Schouten; Orsolini, Soriano, Sansone; Barrow

Spezia possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Ferrer, Ismajli, Erlic, Bastoni; Estevez, Ricci, Maggiore; Gyasi, Nzola, Verde

We say: Bologna 2-2 Spezia

Both Bologna and Spezia will feel that a victory on Saturday would all but confirm their top-flight status for next season.

Goals are to be expected as the two teams have conceded a combined 101 league goals so far this season, and another entertaining draw could be on the cards at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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