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Friday, December 4
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Nov 22, 2020 at 5pm UK
UdineseUdinese
1-0
GenoaGenoa
De Paul (34')
Arslan (65'), Musso (76')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Masiello (31'), Badelj (63'), Scamacca (90+5')
Perin (90+7')
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Preview: Udinese vs. Genoa - prediction, team news, lineups

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

An early-season Serie A 'six-pointer' kicks off in Udine on Sunday evening as Udinese welcome Genoa to the Dacia Arena.

Luca Gotti's hosts have picked up just one point in the last three rounds of action and are already facing a season-long fight for salvation, while the visiting Ligurians sit just above them in the relegation zone.


Match preview

Taking the initiative has been a major problem for both teams, as Genoa and Udinese are the two clubs that have been ahead in the fewest matches in Serie A this season - both only once.

The Bianconeri have registered a paltry six goals to their visitors' seven and last time out drew a blank in drawing at high-flying Sassuolo. A point, however, was an acceptable return in the end, as the confident Neroverdi had the chance to go top in Serie A and dominated possession, with 61% of the ball.

That more conservative approach may not entirely fit with Gotti's avowed principles but it was certainly effective, as the back three held firm against one of the league's most dynamic attacking forces. At home to fellow strugglers though, the Zebrette will necessarily seek to take the initiative, making full use of Argentinian trio Ignacio Pussetto, Roberto Pereyra and Rodrigo De Paul's guile and drive.

Much encouragement can be gleaned from their recent record against Genoa, as Udinese are unbeaten in the last eight league matches against the Grifone, winning five, which represents their longest streak without defeat against them in Serie A. Moreover, the Rossoblu have only won one of their last nine away matches against Udinese (losing five) - which was a 4-2 victory back in November 2014, under the guidance of Gian Piero Gasperini.

In addition to such a lamentable record in Friuli, Genoa have not enjoyed any success in their most recent seven games after international breaks, only managing four draws and three defeats.

The Grifone's virus-cursed squad, which suffered a disruptive major breakout in the season's early stages, has failed to muster any momentum at all and went into the international hiatus on a run of two draws and four defeats - the last two of which both came on home turf at the Marassi.

Genoa's top scorer is unheralded Azzurrini striker Gianluca Scamacca (on loan from Sassuolo) with just two goals and one assist to his name so far. That tally is indicative of how they have toiled throughout a miserable start to the 2020-21 campaign.

After starting November with a hard-earned draw in the Derby della Lanterna, Genoa slumped to consecutive defeats at the hands of Torino and Roma before the break. Now Sunday's game comes ahead of another meeting with city rivals Sampdoria - a Coppa Italia clash in midweek - and coach Rolando Maran will be doubly keen to gain a much-needed boost before that all-important fixture.

Before the game against Roma, defender Cristian Zapata was the latest Genoa player to test positive for COVID-19 and Maran's charges were subsequently overwhelmed by the creative abilities of in-form Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who grabbed a hat-trick for the victorious visitors. Another defeat left the coach's position looking increasingly tenuous and he will be banking on an upturn from his misfiring forwards to save his skin.

Perhaps the late-career international glory recently enjoyed by veteran Goran Pandev, after he steered his North Macedonia teammates to unprecedented European Championships qualification, will help the ex-Inter man provide the spark which has so far been missing throughout a damp squib of a season.

Udinese Serie A form: LLWLLD
Udinese form (all competitions): LWLWLD

Genoa Serie A form: LDLDLL
Genoa form (all competitions): DLWDLL


Team News

In the Udinese engine-room, Mato Jajalo and Rolando Mandragora are still to recover fully from their respective cruciate ligament injuries, although Juventus loanee Mandragora is now nearing a return.

Fellow midfielders Mamadou Coulibaly and Walace, plus Austrian defender Sebastian Prodl, are also expected to be unavailable through injury.

Importantly for under-pressure coach Luca Gotti, Roberto Pereyra is tipped to start after missing out on international duty with Argentina, so the Bianconeri will most likely stick to a 3-5-2 with Rodrigo De Paul, Tolgay Arslan and Pereyra in midfield.

Genoa's misfortune-stricken coach Rolando Maran will again be without some important elements of his first-choice team for the trip to Udine but the injury and illness picture is significantly improving.

Skipper Domenico Criscito is likely to miss out due to injury, while midfielders Marko Pjaca and Stefano Sturaro will be assessed before the team sheet is submitted. However, both Cristian Zapata and Davide Zappacosta return from self-isolation and forward Eldor Shomurodov returns from a thigh strain.

The visitors are expected to set up in a 4-3-2-1 formation, with Miha Zajc and Goran Pandev operating behind lone striker Gianluca Scamacca.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Becao, Nuytinck, Samir; Larsen, De Paul, Arslan, Pereyra, Ouwejan; Pussetto, Okaka

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Perin; Biraschi, Goldaniga, Bani, Pellegrini; Rovella, Badelj, Lerager; Zajc, Pandev; Scamacca


We say: Udinese 2-1 Genoa

There is little to split these two toiling teams on their Serie A form to date. However, home advantage and a formidable recent record against the visitors should give Udinese the slight advantage in this bottom-of-the-table clash.

Expect the Zebrette's Argentine trio and their all-Italian centre-forward options - Stefano Okaka and Kevin Lasagna - to plunder a crucial goal or two against Genoa's unreliable defence.


Top betting 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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Serie A Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1AC Milan97202181323
2Inter Milan953123131018
3SassuoloSassuolo95312012818
4Juventus94501871117
5Napoli960320101017
6Roma95221915417
7Hellas VeronaHellas Verona9432127515
8Atalanta BCAtalanta94231816214
9Lazio94231416-214
10Bologna94051414012
11CagliariCagliari93241619-311
12Sampdoria93241415-111
13SpeziaSpezia92431317-410
14Udinese93151012-210
15BeneventoBenevento93151221-910
16Parma92341017-79
17Fiorentina92251015-58
18Torino91351622-66
19Genoa9126818-105
20Crotone9027620-142
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2Liverpool106312217521
3Chelsea1054122101219
4Leicester CityLeicester106041914518
5West Ham UnitedWest Ham105231711617
6Southampton105231916317
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves105231111017
8Everton105141917216
9Manchester UnitedMan Utd95131616016
10Aston Villa95042013715
11Manchester CityMan City94321511415
12Leeds UnitedLeeds104241517-214
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle104241215-314
14Arsenal104151012-213
15Crystal Palace104151215-313
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton102441416-210
17Fulham102171119-87
18West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom10136718-116
19Burnley9126417-135
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd10019416-121
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