Like in the last game against Chievo, Bologna face off against a team on equal points. Given how few points it is that separate 6th and 12th, a win could send Bologna way up the table.
The win against Chievo has given Bologna a breather after a period of bad results. The game against Cagliari was a disappointment, but the losses against Juventus and Milan were not as surprising. But, to get the win at Chievo was impressive, and it could be the kind of game that sends Bologna into a period of good form. Given which teams Bologna face in the weeks to come, we may see Bologna climbing up the table.
I am very optimistic about Bologna going forward. Despite having only one win in four games, the potential in the team is starting to show. Verdi has been brilliant all
season, but during the last games Destro has also been proving his quality. Two goals against Chievo and a hard-working display got him the man of the match award, and he is almost guaranteed to start against Udinese. When you also consider that Palacio and Di Francesco both are back from their injuries, it is easy to see how much potential Bologna have got going forward. Donadoni will have a headache when the latter two are completely fit as to which of them to start alongside Destro and Verdi. Krejci has also been given a bit of playing time of late, and to have that many players of quality is very comforting.
But it is not just the attack that gives us hope going forward. Masina have found a bit
of consistency lately after struggling earlier in the season, while M’baye has been consistent all season long. The Senegalese is rumoured to sign a new contract soon, something which would be very good news. He has developed quite well, and it is important for Bologna as a club to keep their best players. When you also consider the likes of Gonzalez and Helander, who have both been consistent this season, the hope for the season strengthens.
Udinese have had a season of ups and downs. They struggled a bit initially, but after they decided to fire their coach and appoint Massimo Oddo their form have turned around. Oddo lost his first match in charge versus Napoli, but after that they’ve won four matches in a row. Most impressive was the match against Inter, in which Udinese became the first team to beat Inter this season. Jakub Jankto have impressed in his role as a winger, and he has got three goals and four assists to his name. Kevin Lasagna has got six goals, as got Antonin Barak.
There will probably not be a lot of changes from the last game. Andrea Poli is
suspended after his red card against Chievo, and Donsah is the most likely to come in for him. Destro and Verdi are a given in attack, but the only really question mark before the game is the left attacker. Will Krejci continue in that role, or will one of Palacio or Di Francesco or even Okwonkwo come in? Given that the latter three have struggled with injuries, our bet is that it is the Czech international that will be given a place in the starting lineup.
Bologna (4-3-3): Mirante; M’baye, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina; Nagy, Pulgar, Donsah; Verdi, Destro, Krejci
Udinese (3-5-2): Blizzari; Danilo, Nuytinck, Widmer; Adnan, Stryger Larsen, Barak, Behrami, Jankto; Lopez, Lasagna
The win against Chievo will have given the team some confidence going into this game, and it is definitely a game that can and should be won. However, Udinese are in great form at the moment, and Oddo has got them working well together as a unit. They have several players that can hurt Bologna going forward, and the defence and midfield have to be aware to stop them creating chances. If, however, our attack can keep their great form, we should have enough quality to beat Udinese.
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Photo: Bologna FC