Match preview: Bologna – Crotone

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With three losses in a row Bologna really need a win against Crotone, who surprised everyone with their win against Fiorentina in their last game.

The last three games were really difficult for the team. After the victory against Spal, we’ve faced three strong opponents, and not come away with a single point. However, we have witnessed a positive development in our performances in these games. The Atalanta game was terrible, against Lazio we were good in one half, and against Roma we played really well throughout the game. Now, Bologna need to build on the performance against Roma. If the team perform like that, then Crotone should be beaten this evening. Donadoni said yesterday that we need to build on the past games, saying:

I want to see the same intensity from the Roma game. Crotone are alive and rightly have belief.

Crotone have so far had a mixed season, with 2 wins, 3 draws, and 6 losses. That leaves them with nine points thus far, the same amount they had after the first half of last season. At the time, no one gave Crotone a chance of surviving, but they did somewhat miraculously. They currently sit three points above relegation, and are full of confidence after their surprising victory against Fiorentina last weekend. Crotone is not a high-scoring team, and with a mere eight thus far, it is quite remarkable that they have nine points. However, eight of their points thus far have come at home, with the last point won away at Spal. Crotone are a compact team who play long balls up to their strikers. They’re not an easy team to break, and we’ll need good performances from our attackers if we are to get something from this one. Donadoni also talked about Crotone’s style of play:

Their whole game is based around counterattacks and the second ball. We have to be very alert.

I’m expecting a win tonight, however it will not come easy. We’ve struggled for some time now with finding the net, and with a compact Crotone team on the other half, the goals will not come easy. Luckily for us, Rodrigo Palacio is back from his injury, and hopefully he’ll be fit enough to start the game. The same can also be said about Andrea Poli, who’ve recovered from his minor injury, and he should be ready to start the game.

Since the Roma game we’ve got some players back from injury, most notably Palacio, but also Saphir Taïder and Ibrahima M’baye. This is great news, but it’s doubtful whether the last two will start the game. Krafth has done well in the last couple of games, and should continue at right back, while Taïder probably will be on the bench, especially if Poli is fit to start. There all still some players that are injured though, as none of Mirante, Avenatti and Torosidis will take part. Erick Pulgar is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Roma, and he must therefore watch the game from the stands. Donadoni also talked about returning players yesterday, saying:

I plan on Palacio and Poli being available. M’baye and Taïder have fully recovered.

Overall, this is a game we should win. We will most likely dominate possession tonight, and we have to be aware of their counterattacks. We also have to start performing in the games that we are the favorite to win. We haven’t done this yet this season, and this game is the perfect game to start doing it. A good performance tonight should see us win the game, as Crotone have been really poor thus far this season when playing away from home.

Expected lineups:

Crotone (4-4-2): Cordaz; Sampirisi, Simic, Pavlovic, Ceccherini; Nalini, Barberis, Mandragora, Stoian; Trotta, Budimir

Bologna (4-3-3): Da Costa; Krafth, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina; Poli, Nagy, Donsah; Verdi, Palacio, Di Francesco

That’s all for today, I’ll be back here tomorrow with a review of the game!


Photo: Bologna FC


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