Udinese vs Crotone
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Sunday, 18 December 2016
Kick-Off: 14:00 UK,
Venue: Dacia Arena (Udine).
Udinese will seek to make it three wins in a row for the first time in two years when they take on debutants Crotone at the Dacia Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Zebrette and the Squali will meet for the very first time in a historic encounter. However, don’t expect any feelings of sentimentality between the two sides. Udinese are on a mission to put as much distance between themselves and the relegation candidates as possible after surviving an earlier scare. Luigi Delneri’s men are still not out of the woods yet, although having won two back-to-back games, their confidence will be high ahead of this fixture.
With 21 points, Udinese are 12 points away from the bottom three, but a loss could see them start to be sucked back down into the dreaded relegation battle. Meanwhile, Crotone earned a hard-fought 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Pescara, but they still find themselves in the bottom three. A win for the Squali will put them on 12 points, which, depending on how things turn out for Empoli, could see them in 17th at the end of this round.
Having finished in 17th last season – thus barely escaping the drop – Udinese will not want to cut it so close this time around. Since Delneri took over after Giuseppe Iachini’s dismissal, the Zebrette have been like a roller-coaster. There were some signs of improvement as they bounced back from a loss to Juventus to defeat relegation candidates Pescara and Palermo. But then, they stuttered to two draws, followed by two losses, and now have come back up to win two more matches.
It goes without saying that Udinese need to achieve some consistency if they want to avoid slipping back down the table. Will they make it three wins in a row for the first time all season?
Udinese vs Crotone: Head-to-head statistics
- This will be the first ever meeting between Udinese and Crotone (including the Coppa Italia and Serie B).
- Crotone have earned four points from their last three league games. That is one less than the three they had earned in their prior 13.
- Udinese have a record of W12-D5-L3 in their past 20 home games against teams ranked below them in the table.
- The Zebrette have won two matches in a row; the last time they won three on the trot was in September 2014.
- Crotone have conceded at least two goals in six out of their last seven away matches.
- The Squali have lost seven out of their last eight away games.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in six out of Crotone’s last seven road fixtures.
- Eight out of Udinese’s last ten matches have seen over 2.5 goals.
Udinese vs Crotone: Prediction
Crotone come into this game having earned a win, but the Squali have yet to pick up a victory on their travels. In fact, they have earned just one point on the road. That was back when they faced Fiorentina in October in a match that they actually could have won were it not for a late equalizer by the Viola. In addition, they have managed to score in their past three games, which has seen them earn four points.
Meanwhile, Udinese have kept just two clean sheets at home. One was against Empoli, who have the weakest attack in the division and the other was against Bologna, who have had their share of attacking problems as well. Given that the majority of games for both Udinese and Crotone have seen over 2.5 goals, this one could go the same way. However, this will be very tough for Crotone to secure all three points. Udinese will be determined to keep grinding out the right kind of results and that, coupled with Crotone’s bad away form should tip this game in Udinese’s favor.
Udinese vs Crotone: Betting tips
- Both teams to score – YES at 19/20 (1.95)
- Over 2.5 goals at 19/20 (1.95)
- Udinese – WIN at 4/7 (1.57).