Empoli vs Bologna Prediction: Low-scoring affair expected in Florence

 | March 14 | 

3 mins read

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The Bologna train was finally stopped in its tracks last weekend after Inter beat I Rossoblu 1-0 to end their six-game winning run. Thiago Motta must now regroup his players for a Friday night trip to Stadio Carlo Castellani, where they face a lowly Empoli side.

Ahead of this Serie A clash, which is live in the UK on TNT Sports, we have detailed all the latest team news and match odds, and offered a couple of betting tips in our Empoli vs Bologna prediction.

Empoli vs Bologna Betting Tips

  • Under 2.5 goals @ 8/13
  • #PickYourPunt - Lewis Ferguson 2+ shots, Riccardo Orsolini 2+ shots, Nicolo Cambiaghi 2+ shots @ 6/4

Team News

Empoli midfielder Jacopo Fazzini is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards and he will be watching on from the stands alongside defender Ardian Ismajli, who was substituted due to injury in the first half of Sunday's 1-0 defeat at AC Milan.

Bartosz Bereszynski replaced the Albanian at San Siro and could deputise on Friday, while Viktor Kovalenko is a suitable replacement for Fazzini.

Motta's plans suffered a huge blow earlier this week with the news that star striker Joshua Zirkzee will be sidelined for nearly a month after suffering a muscle injury. The Dutchman has scored 10 goals in Serie A this season, missing only one game through suspension, and his replacement for that 2-1 defeat at Cagliari in January, Sydney van Hooijdonk, has since departed on loan to Norwich City.

Unless Motta places his faith in recent recruit Santiago Castro, who is just 19 and only made his Bologna debut off the bench last Saturday, Dan Ndoye or Jens Odgaard - both of whom usually line up from wider positions - could be deployed as a central striker.

Another forward, Jesper Karlsson, is still out injured.

Match Odds

Empoli are 11/4 to bounce back from two straight defeats with a victory, while the visitors can be found at 11/10 to return to winning ways. The draw is 11/5, both teams to score can be backed at 10/11 and the over 2.5 goals is available at 6/5.

Under 2.5 goals @ 8/13

Empoli are the lowest scorers in Serie A with 22 goals and arrive into this fixture on the back of successive 1-0 defeats, so it's logical to be wary of a cracker in Florence on Friday.

Despite their fourth position heading into the game, Bologna aren't exactly free-scoring themselves, certainly compared to the likes of Roma (54 goals) or Atalanta (51), the two sides directly below them. I Rossoblu have found the net 41 times in the league this term - no team in the top eight has scored fewer.

With Zirkzee out and likely to be replaced by someone playing out of position, Bologna may not be as fluent as usual and that could harm the game's chances of many goals.

This selection has landed in three of their last five matches.

Under 2.5 goals in Empoli vs Bologna at 8-13

#PickYourPunt - Lewis Ferguson 2+ shots, Riccardo Orsolini 2+ shots, Nicolo Cambiaghi 2+ shots @ 6/4

I don't envisage many goals on Friday, but it won't be for the lack of trying from the above three names.

Bologna captain Lewis Ferguson averages two shots per game in this season's Serie A and has only failed to reach that number once in his previous five outings - against Verona on February 23, when he had just one shot.

The Scotland international's teammate, Riccardo Orsolini, didn't start against Inter but had been in the five previous starting XI's and should be restored to the line-up against Empoli with Zirkzee out. Orsolini is only one goal behind Bologna's top scorer in Serie A and averages 1.8 shots per game in the competition this term.

His last seven starts have seen him record at least two shots in each (two, two, two, five, three, two and two).

Similarly, Empoli's Nicolo Cambiaghi isn't afraid to try his luck, despite failing to find the net in any of his 27 league appearances. The 23-year-old averages 2.2 shots per game and usually plays the majority of the 90 minutes for Gli Azzuri.

#PickYourPunt in Empoli vs Bologna at 6-4

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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