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Apr 20, 2022 at 5.45pm UK at Stadio Friuli
0 - 1

Jajalo (32'), Mari (89'), Deulofeu (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Verdi (90+3')
Ranieri (56'), Ederson (84'), Bohinen (86'), Kastanos (90+2'), Verdi (90+5')

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

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

Four months after the original fixture was postponed in chaotic circumstances, Udinese finally meet Serie A's bottom side Salernitana on Wednesday.

Following three wins against teams below them in the table, the Friulani will play host to the southern strugglers seeking to inch closer to the top half, while the visitors posted just a fourth victory of the season last weekend.

Match preview

In the final round of Serie A before the winter break, Udinese's last match of 2021 was officially called off at the last minute, after their visitors were prevented from travelling.

Instructed by the local public health body not to fly to Udine following a positive COVID-19 test in their squad, Salernitana were unable to fulfil the fixture, but the game was not cancelled by the footballing authorities, as rules outlined that multiple cases were required for postponement.

Much controversy arose, and both sides were, in any case, afflicted by mass breakouts in their respective squads soon after. Despite claims Udinese should be awarded the three points, the match was finally pencilled in for this week and the two teams now finally meet.

The hosts will kick off amid their best form of the season, as a week after finding their sixth stoppage-time goal of the campaign to secure a victory at Venezia, a comprehensive 4-1 win over ailing Empoli last Saturday took Gabriele Cioffi's men up to 12th place.

Initially appointed on caretaker terms at the end of last year, the former assistant to predecessor Luca Gotti has helped the Bianconeri avoid a relegation battle, which seemed certain to be their fate just a few months ago.

Now well clear of the drop zone with games still in hand, Udinese have taken 23 points from 15 Serie A matches under Cioffi's management, and will be confident of capitalising on their soft recent schedule once again when they welcome the league's last-placed side.

With at least one game in hand on their relegation rivals - the first being played on Wednesday - Salernitana retain slim hope of a great escape following their crucial 2-1 win at Sampdoria last time out.

Serie A survival specialist Davide Nicola steered his side to victory at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, as the Granata scored two goals in the opening 10 minutes of a top-flight match for the first time since 1948.

Early strikes from Federico Fazio and much-admired midfielder Ederson were ultimately enough for the Campanian club to end their 11-match winless run and stay within nine points of safety, though much work remains if they are to defy the odds and avoid an immediate return to Serie B.

Ahead of their delayed trip north to Friuli, three of Salernitana's four league wins this term have now come away from home, and with the pressure off - given realistically low expectations - they may well threaten their opponents' growing unbeaten run.

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

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

Team News

With regular striker Beto suffering from a thigh strain which ruled him out at the weekend, Udinese will have to find another partner for Gerard Deulofeu in attack, with the latter netting his 11th league goal of the season against Empoli.

The ex-Watford man has never scored more in a single campaign, but Isaac Success - who clumsily conceded a penalty at the weekend - may make way, as a lively showing from the bench by another former Hornet, Ignacio Pussetto, could be rewarded with a rare start.

Gabriele Cioffi will certainly be without wing-back Nahuel Molina, who serves a suspension, while Roberto Pereyra's participation is also in doubt.

The visitors, meanwhile, were without Mamadou Coulibaly, Lys Mousset and Matteo Ruggeri again at Marassi, and goalkeeper Luigi Sepe is also a doubt for Wednesday's game after being replaced in the 70th minute on Saturday. Vid Belec could therefore start as Salernitana's last line of defence.

Both captain Milan Djuric and Pasquale Mazzocchi are suspended, so Mikael is poised to replace the former alongside Federico Bonazzoli up front.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Becao, Mari, Perez; Soppy, Makengo, Walace, Arslan, Udogie; Deulofeu, Pussetto

Salernitana possible starting lineup:
Belec; Gyomber, Radovanovic, Fazio; Zortea, Bohinen, L. Coulibaly, Ederson, Ranieri; Mikael, Bonazzoli

We say: Udinese 2-2 Salernitana

While Udinese have gone nine games without a clean sheet - instead relying on an improved goal threat (in 2022, no team has scored more goals than their 17 in seven home matches) - their visitors possess the top flight's leakiest defence.

Therefore, both sides should find the net at least once on Wednesday, with a score draw perhaps being the likeliest outcome.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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