Verdict: Udinese win
Best Odds: 6/5
With a golden opportunity to build off of their recent purple patch, a resurging Udinese will welcome Lecce to an empty Dacia Arena on Wednesday evening.
Starting with the hosts, although Udinese might have left it too late to mount a top-10 charge, I Bianconeri have continued on what has been a recent resurge at the Dacia Arena. Putting in another professional display on their travels over the weekend, the White and Blacks landed a 1-0 win at Cagliari and find the mood in their camp at arguably a season-high. While Luca Gotti’s side may have marked their return from the enforced break with some still looking over their shoulder at the drop zone, they will undoubtedly be boosted by what was a famous display on home soil last week. Despite falling 1-0 behind against newly-crowned champions Juventus, Udinese put on a stunning second-half comeback and landed what was a stellar 2-1 victory and have landed back-to-back wins for the first time since January. Already picking up a 2-0 win against Roma and taking points off of Champions League chasers Lazio since the restart, Wednesday’s hosts have lost just a pair of their last eight Serie A contests, by far their brightest run of 2020.
With all four players still dealing with respective knee injuries, Udinese have confirmed that they will once again be without Lukasz Teodorczyk, Mato Jajalo, Rolando Mandragora and Sebastian Prodl in midweek.
As for the visitors, while the mood in Udinese’s camp will be at a real high, Lecce could likely still be reeling from what was a heartbreaking defeat against Bologna over the weekend. Despite mounting an eye-catching comeback at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, they shipped a 93rd-minute strike and still find themselves at the heart of a relegation battle with time ticking away. With just two Serie A contests remaining in the 2019/2020 campaign, I Giallorossi find themselves sat four points adrift of safety heading into Wednesday’s matchup. Failing to build off of their 3-1 victory against an already relegated Brescia last week, Fabio Liverani’s men have lost three of their last four top-flight appearances and have continued to gain a reputation for their issues at the back. Including shipping a trio of goals on their travels over the weekend, Lecce have already conceded a staggering 80 Serie A strikes throughout this year’s campaign, the worst defensive tally in Italy’s top-tier. Collecting just a single point over their last six contests outside of Apulia, I Giallorossi could be in for another long evening in midweek.
Still struggling with an injury issue since the restart, Lecce look set to once again be without midfielder Alessandro Deiola on Wednesday.
Aside from the 24-year-old, Lecce don’t have any other injuries or suspensions to worry about in midweek.
Key Factors to Consider
- Including a 1-0 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Udinese have won each of their last three contests against Lecce.
- Wednesday’s hosts have landed back-to-back Serie A victories for the first time since January.
- Lecce have conceded 80 Serie A goals this season, the worst defensive tally in the division this year.
- Udinese have lost just two of their previous eight Serie A appearances, their most fruitful patch of 2020.
- Seven of Lecce’s last eight away contests have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
On paper, Udinese should Wednesday as a golden opportunity to extend on their recent purple patch. Still boosted by a stunning 2-1 victory against newly-crowned champions Juventus at the Dacia Arena last week, I Bianconeri have secured back-to-back Serie A victories for the first time since January. Skyrocketing up the standings and losing just a pair of their last eight contests, they have already landed a 2-0 win against Roma and have taken points off of Lazio. There is no doubt that the hosts should be relishing Lecce’s arrival in midweek. Sat four points adrift of safety with just two contests remaining, Wednesday’s guests have also managed to collect just a single point over their last six appearances on the road. Losing each of their last three meetings against Udinese, we’re backing a similar outcome at the Dacia Arena.
Verdict: Udinese win
Best Odds: 6/5
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