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Empoli vs Bologna Preview: Team news, stats and prediction

Empoli will be looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat when they host Bologna in Serie A on Friday.

The Azzurri lost 1-0 to AC Milan last weekend, their second straight defeat by that scoreline. Those defeats have ended Davide Nicola’s unbeaten run (3W, 3D), but the club are still a point above the relegation zone heading into this matchday.

With another top-four side in Bologna visiting, the hosts are in danger of losing three consecutive games for the first time since the start of the season, when they lost six in a row.

Empoli continue to struggle offensively, having failed to score in 15 league games, including four of their last six at the Stadio Carlo Castellani (1W, 2D, 3L). However, with just two goals conceded and five points taken from their last four home league games, Empoli have shown they can compete with the top teams when backed by their fans.

Fourth-placed Bologna saw their six-game winning streak come to an end with a 1-0 defeat to league leaders Inter Milan last time out. However, that may be just a blip, as Thiago Motta’s men are still in control of their own destiny in the race for the top four, three points ahead of Roma in fifth.

The Rossoblu will be looking to get back to winning ways, and they have extra motivation to do so, as they have the chance to complete a league double over Empoli, having won the reverse fixture 3-0.

They will be confident of their chances of doing so, having won their last two away games 2-1, despite coming from behind on both occasions. However, the visitors know that their away form has not always been perfect, having drawn seven of their 13 away league games this season (3W, 3L).

Four of those draws have come after the Rossoblu have taken the lead, so a strong start does not necessarily guarantee that Bologna will be able to claim what would be their first ever top-flight away win against their hosts (4D, 5L).

Key Players:

Szymon Żurkowski has scored five of his last six league goals at home, and has even opened the scoring for Empoli in three of those games.

In contrast, Lewis Ferguson’s last four goals have all been winners for Bologna.

Hot stat: Both Empoli and Bologna have seen exactly one goal scored in the first half of four of their last five league games.

Prediction: Empoli 1-1 Bologna

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