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Empoli logo
Serie A | Gameweek 33
May 4, 2023 at 7.45pm UK
Stadio Carlo Castellani
Bologna logo

3 - 1

Lucumi (1' og.), Akpa-Akpro (45+1'), Cambiaghi (68')
Parisi (27'), Henderson (66'), Bandinelli (87')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Orsolini (88' pen.)
Motta (18')

Preview: Empoli vs. Bologna - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Serie A clash between Empoli and Bologna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two Serie A teams seeking to return to winning ways lock horns at the Stadio Carlo Castellani on Thursday night as Empoli play host to Bologna.

The Rossoblu will be seeking revenge against the Blues after suffering a 1-0 defeat in the reverse fixture at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara back in September.

Match preview

Empoli coach Paolo Zanetti on April 7, 2023© Reuters

After three games without a win or without scoring a goal, Empoli managed to find the net against Sassuolo last weekend, but they were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline at the Mapei Stadium despite ending the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time with an extra man.

The Blues appeared to be on course to pick up maximum points, with Nicolo Cambiaghi's first-half opener followed by a straight red card for Sassuolo's Andrea Pinamonti on the 74-minute mark. However, a brace from substitute Domenico Berardi turned the game on its head for the hosts, with a 97th-minute winning penalty condemning the visitors to a third straight defeat.

Empoli have picked up the fewest Serie A points since the start of February, accumulating just six in 12 games, and Paolo Zanetti's side still have work to do if they wish to compete in the top flight next season, as they currently sit 15th in the table and five points above the relegation zone with six games remaining.

The Blues will fancy their chances of turning their fortunes around on Thursday, though, as they boast a strong head-to-head record against Bologna, winning six and drawing three of their last 10 Serie A meetings.

Empoli have also faced Bologna more often on home soil without suffering defeat in Serie A than they have against any other team in the division, winning four and drawing four of their eight encounters at the Stadio Carlo Castellani, including a 4-2 home success last season.

Bologna coach Thiago Motta on April 15, 2023© Reuters

Bologna enter Thursday's contest having failed to win their last three Serie A games, but they have played out respectable 1-1 draws at home against both AC Milan and Juventus during this run, picking up a point against the latter on Sunday.

Riccardo Orsolini scored his ninth Serie A goal of the season for the Rossoblu when he converted from the penalty spot inside the first 10 minutes against Juve, but the Old Lady restored parity on the hour mark through Arkadiusz Milik. Despite the efforts of both sides to snatch a late winner, the spoils were eventually shared at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

Thiago Motta's men still sit eighth in the Serie A table despite winning only two of their last eight Serie A matches, and they remain on course for their highest top-flight finish since securing seventh place in the 2001-02 campaign.

Victory on Thursday would see Bologna record as many as 48 points for the first time since the 2011-12 season (51), although success against Empoli could prove challenging having failed to win 10 of their 15 away league outings so far this term.

Empoli Serie A form:

Bologna Serie A form:

Team News

Bologna's Riccardo Orsolini celebrates scoring their first goal with Musa Barrow on February 26, 2023© Reuters

Empoli's only injury concern is with defender Koni De Winter, who remains sidelined with a long-term knee problem.

First-choice goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario recovered from injury to make his first appearance since February in the defeat at Sassuolo, and he is expected to keep his place between the sticks behind a back four of Tyronne Ebuehi, Sebastian Walukiewicz, Sebastiano Luperto and Fabiano Parisi.

Cambiaghi and Tommaso Baldanzi are Empoli's joint-top scorers this season with just four goals to their names, and the attacking duo are set to retain their places in the final third along with Francesco Caputo.

As for Bologna, left-back Georgios Kyriakopoulos is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards, so Andrea Cambiaso is expected to be recalled to the first XI as a result.

Nicola Bagnolini and Roberto Soriano are also unavailable for selection as they continue to recover from respective shoulder and ligament injuries.

However, Marko Arnautovic is hoping to return from a foot problem and could replace Nikola Moro or Musa Barrow in the first XI if he passes a late fitness test.

Empoli possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Ebuehi, Walukiewicz, Luperto, Parisi; Marin, Grassi, Bandinelli, Baldanzi; Caputo, Cambiaghi

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Posch, Soumaoro, Lucumi, Cambiaso; Schouten, Dominguez; Orsolini, Ferguson, Barrow; Arnautovic

SM words green background

We say: Empoli 1-1 Bologna

A closely-fought contest between two out-of-sorts sides is set to take place on Thursday with Empoli boasting the psychological edge considering their strong head-to-head record over Bologna.

However, we believe that the visitors can follow up their draw with Juventus by picking up at least a point at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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