Empoli vs Udinese
Italian Serie A.
Date: Sunday, 22 January 2017
Kick-Off: 14:00 UK,
Venue: Stadio Carlo Castellani (Empoli).
Empoli will hope to further put some more distance between themselves and the bottom three as they take on Udinese on Sunday afternoon.
The Azzurri have struggled badly all season, but suddenly there appears to be a glimmer of hope. They still have the worst attack in the league, with just 11 goals scored from 20 games. However, the Tuscan outfit are still managing to get things done. They have lost just one out of their past five games and now have opened a decent eight point gap between themselves and Palermo.
Safety, however, is still a long ways away. Usually that so called magical number is about 40. Empoli haven’t even reached half of that total, and come into this match on 18 points. The Azzurri finally are starting to score, as they have netted in their past three home games, which is obviously great, but it goes without saying that they have to do much more.
It’s never a good thing to see one’s team having scored less than individual players, but that’s the fact of the matter for Empoli. There are actually five players in the league who have netted more goals than the whole team: Inter’s Mauro Icardi (15), Torino’s Andrea Belotti (14), Juventus’s Gonzalo Higuain (13), Roma’s Edin Dzeko (13), and Napoli’s Dries Mertens (12).
Meanwhile, Udinese will also be seeking to get back on track after yet another wobble. The Zebrette now are winless in their past three and in fact have lost two in a row.
Whilst they are in a much better position, with 25 points, Luigi Delneri surely will want to see his side moving closer towards a better mid-table position. And besides, another loss here and there could see any team dropping further towards 13th, 14th, 15th spot – and then one is getting closer towards the drop zone as the season wears on.
Furthermore the gap between Udinese and Sassuolo, who sits in 16th spot is just four points. Can either team get the better of each other, or will they end up cancelling each other out?
Empoli vs Udinese: Head-to-head statistics
- Empoli have a record of W4-D5-L11 in their past 20 home games against teams ranked above them in the table.
- Udinese have a record of W9-D4-L7 in their past 20 away games against teams ranked below them in the table.
- Udinese have won four of the last six Serie A clashes against Empoli (D1 L1).
- The Zebrette have lost only four of the 21 total meetings in the top flight versus the Tuscans (W9 D8 L4).
- Empoli are winless at home against Udinese in five Serie A games (D3 L2).
- However, the Azzurri have lost only once in the last five match-days (W2 D2 L1), keeping four clean sheets in the process.
Empoli vs Udinese: Prediction
Given that both teams have been in mixed form, a draw certainly appears to be on the cards here. Udinese will be eager to stop the rot and avoid making it a third straight loss. Empoli will be hoping to put on a good show in front of their fans and keep grinding out point after point to put more distance between themselves and the bottom three.
Don’t expect fireworks from this one – rather it could be a gritty affair from start to finish as these sides engage in a tactical battle to secure at least a point to further their respective objectives.
Empoli vs Udinese: Betting tips
Under 2.5 goals at 4/7 (1.57)
DRAW at 11/5 (3.20).