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Serie B | 2nd Leg
May 23, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Stadio Libero Liberati

0 - 3

Dalle Mura (45'), Lucchesi (73'), Luperini (90+4'), Dionisi (90+6')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Di Cesare (45+2'), Ricci (52'), Sibilli (65')
Maita (21'), Maiello (22'), Di Cesare (33'), Nasti (61'), Acampora (90')
Bellomo (78')

Preview: Ternana vs. Bari - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Ternana vs. Bari - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Serie B clash between Ternana and Bari, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

The Serie B relegation playoff is finely poised for the second leg between Ternana and Bari at Stadio Libero Liberati on Thursday.

Last week's first meeting at San Nicola ended 1-1, and the visitors need a victory to avoid losing their second-tier status.

Match preview

A late Gaston Pereiro leveller prevented a Ternana loss in the first leg of the playoffs as Roberto Breda's put themselves in a promising position heading into Thursday.

Pereiro's 82nd-minute leveller means the Red and Greens did not rue Tiago Casasola's 12th-minute penalty miss in Bari, as Marco Pissardo denied the defender from 12 yards.

The goalkeeper was ultimately beaten in the game's closing minutes, meaning Ternana need a draw in the reverse fixture to retain their Serie B status. Competition rules favour the side finishing the regular season higher in the standings in the event of the tie ending without a clear winner.

Thus, it remains to be seen if Le Fere approach the game with caution, knowing their opponents are effectively the ones required to win the game, as opposed to the hosts who only need to avoid losing.

Despite a challenging first half of the regular season, Bari were competitive at the turn of the year, leading to somewhat improved results in the campaign's concluding weeks. Last week's draw in Bari extended their undefeated run to three games, including two wins in the regular season, giving the hosts much-needed confidence before Thursday's meeting.

The Cockerels have gone unbeaten longer than Ternana, even if the only victory in their four-match run without losing was a 2-0 triumph in the final match of the Serie B campaign against Brescia.

Federico Giampaolo's only loss since being named caretaker boss in mid-April was a 4-1 hammering by Cosenza at the backend of last month, and they have not lost a game since that reverse.

However, Giampaolo will be aware of the Biancorossi's inability to win on the road for several months since beating Brescia 2-1 in October 2023. Thirteen road games have not produced success for Bari, which does not bode well for Thursday's game at Ternana.

The drop-off in 2023-24 is disappointing for a side that ended last season in third, only to struggle amid the upheaval in Apulia, with Giampaolo the fourth head coach of the season after Michele Mignani, Pasquale Marino and Giuseppe Iachini.

If the caretaker successfully prevents relegation to Serie C, the Cockerels would have avoided sliding down a division by the skin of their teeth.

Ternana Serie B form:

Bari Serie B form:

Team News

Despite firing blanks last time out, Filippo Distefano is a potential match-winner for Ternana, having netted both strikes in 1-0 wins over Catanzaro and Feralpisalo to close out the regular season.

The seven-goal man should start up top with Pereiro, with the club's top-scoring Antonio Raimondo (nine goals) making do with a role on the bench.

Gabriele Boloca was withdrawn on the final day against Feralpisalo and did not make the squad last week, making the defender's participation against Bari uncertain. Marco Capuano, Andrea Favilli, Niklas Pyyhtia, Andrei Marginean, Jan Zuberek and Filippo Sgarbi are not anticipated to be available for the hosts.

It remains to be seen if Bari have Giuseppe Sibilli available this week after the wide attacker sustained an injury in the first leg. Ilias Koutsoupias (knee) is a long-term absentee for the away side, while Abdoul Guiebre, Malcom Edjouma and Davide Diaw are not anticipated to feature.

With Sibilli touch-and-go, Marco Nasti (six goals) and George Puscas (four) may have to step up for the away side if the top-scoring attacker (11) is ultimately ruled out.

Ternana possible starting lineup:
Iannarilli; Casasola, Mura, Lucchesi; Favasuli, Luperini, Amatucci, Faticanti, Carboni; Pereiro, Distefano

Bari possible starting lineup:
Piscardo; Pucino, Di Casare, Vicari, Rici; Maiello, Benali; Belolomo, Acampora, Sibilli; Nasti

We say: Ternana 1-0 Bari (Ternana win 2-1 on aggregate)

Ternana's last four home games have witnessed not more than one goal — 1-0 wins over Cozenza and Catanzaro either side of a goalless game with Modena and a 1-0 loss to Ascoli — and a similar outcome is expected on Thursday, with the hosts just about edging Bari to retain their Serie B status.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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