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

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

Bologna square off against Spezia on Sunday afternoon looking for the victory which will keep them in the top half of the Serie A standings.

Meanwhile, Spezia head into the contest at Stadio Alberto Picco sitting just two points clear of the relegation zone.

Match preview

Having posted successive victories against Cagliari and Sampdoria before the international break, Bologna would have expected a third success in a row versus Venezia.

However, Sinisa Mihajlovic's side succumbed by a 1-0 scoreline, losing ground on the teams above them and allowing their opponents to move clear of the relegation zone.

Bologna still sit within four points of fifth-placed Roma, but there is a sense of a missed opportunity ahead of four potentially-pivotal fixtures in a row.

That run includes home games against Roma and Fiorentina, and the results in those fixtures could make or break whether Bologna are capable of challenging for the top seven.

I Rossoblu have not netted a first-half goal since their win over Lazio on October 3, a streak lasting six matches.

After a slow start to the season, Spezia have done well to move themselves out of the relegation zone by two points.

Nevertheless, Thiago Motta knows that his team must improve, particularly in defence with last weekend's 5-2 defeat to Atalanta BC taking them to 31 goals conceded in just 13 matches.

Aquilotti have shipped three more goals than any other team, and they still cannot rely on their attackers with any great confidence with only one player scoring more than twice this season.

M'Bala Nzola ended his drought for the campaign with a double in the last fixture, leaving Motta to hope that the Angolan is now ready to contribute on a regular basis.

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

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

Team News

Spezia will be without wing-back Emmanuel Gyasi after he collected his fifth yellow card of the season last weekend.

Motta may take the opportunity to change to a back four, handing a recall to Dimitrios Nikolaou who was missing against Atalanta.

Janis Antiste is also pushing for an opportunity in a three-man attack alongside Daniele Verde and Nzola.

Despite the disappointment of the last game, Mihajlovic will consider sticking with the same Bologna XI.

Emanuel Vignato and Nicola Sansone are alternatives in the final third if any changes are made by their boss.

Spezia possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou, Bastoni; Kovalenko, Sala, Maggiore; Verde, Nzola, Antiste

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Soumaoro, Medel, Theate; Orsolini, Dominguez, Svanberg, Hickey; Barrow, Soriano; Arnautovic

We say: Spezia 1-2 Bologna

Given their surprise defeat last time out, Bologna will throw caution to the wind here to remain in contention for the European spots. While Spezia will ensure that the visitors do not have it all their own way, we still expect a narrow win for the visitors.

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