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Serie A | Gameweek 37
May 19, 2024 at 2pm UK
Dacia Arena

1 - 1

Samardzic (90+14' pen.)
Perez (35')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Niang (90' pen.)
Grassi (4'), Bastoni (54'), Ismajli (64'), Gyasi (75'), Marin (90+6'), Fazzini (90+12')
Grassi (90+15')

Preview: Udinese vs. Empoli - prediction, team news, lineups

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

With a win sufficient to secure their Serie A survival, Udinese host fellow relegation battlers Empoli in a crucial Sunday showdown.

After taking five points from three games, the Friulani can defy the drop by beating their Tuscan counterparts, who sit just one point behind in the standings.

Match preview

Only two games away from the season's end, Udinese hold their destiny within their own hands, following Monday's 2-0 victory down at Via del Mare.

Hosts Lecce needed just one point to seal their own safety, but goals from Lorenzo Lucca and Lazar Samardzic helped the Bianconeri clamber out of the relegation zone.

Twice in two weeks, late strikes have delighted fans of the Fruilani, following a long series of goals conceded in the latter stages that have proved so costly for their club.

It seems that recently-appointed coach Fabio Cannavaro has started to turn things around, and Udinese's final fixtures are against teams also involved in the scrap for survival.

Before visiting Frosinone next week, the Fruili club must return to headquarters, where they have won just a single home game in Serie A this term - but they are undefeated in four league meetings with Empoli.

October's reverse fixture ended 0-0 at Stadio Carlo Castellani, which is perhaps no surprise, as Udinese are Italy's draw specialists and Empoli have scored fewer goals than any other team in the top flight this season.

Most recently beaten 2-0 by in-form Lazio, the Tuscan club have lost without scoring in each of their last five away fixtures, so they will kick off Sunday's contest in hope rather than expectation.

Davide Nicola's side have now failed to find the net in eight of their last 10 matches, and since the start of March they have fired more blanks than any other team throughout Europe's top five leagues.

That latest setback saw Empoli slip into the bottom three, sitting level on points with Frosinone but one behind both Udinese and Cagliari - and they must host Roma next weekend.

Nicola is a specialist in keeping struggling clubs up after arriving as a mid-season firefighter, but it will require all his nous for the Azzurri to avoid demotion this time around.

Udinese Serie A form:

Empoli Serie A form:

Team News

In addition to Udinese's long-term absentees Enzo Ebosse and Gerard Deulofeu, midfielder Sandi Lovric, goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and French forward Florian Thauvin are all sidelined this weekend.

Fabio Cannavaro will consider whether to name an unchanged XI after achieving a rare win last time out, but captain Roberto Pereyra could replace Isaac Success as Lorenzo Lucca's support act.

Having moved on to eight league goals for the season, Lucca now aims to score in successive Serie A matches for the very first time.

Meanwhile, Empoli can recall centre-forward Alberto Cerri after an injury layoff, and he will compete with M'Baye Niang and Francesco Caputo to lead the visitors' goal-shy front line.

Sebastian Walukiewicz is also back in the fold following a flexor problem, so only ACL victim Tyronne Ebuehi will miss the trip north to Udine.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Perez, Bijol, Kristensen; Ehizibue, Payero, Walace, Kamara; Samardzic, Pereyra; Lucca

Empoli possible starting lineup:
Caprile; Bereszynski, Ismajli, Luperto; Gyasi, Maleh, Marin, Grassi, Pezzella; Cambiaghi, Caputo

We say: Udinese 1-0 Empoli

As Empoli do not travel well, Udinese should register just a second home win of the season; after previously staring into the abyss, the Bianconeri can clinch safety with one game to spare, partly thanks to Fabio Cannavaro's calming influence.

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

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