Following their first Serie A victory of the season, Udinese will welcome struggling Fiorentina to the Dacia Arena on Wednesday.
The Friulani won against newly promoted Monza last Friday, while their Tuscan opponents drew this past weekend for the third time in a straight and have now gone over 300 minutes without scoring.
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Last time out, Udinese was motivated to defeat promoted opponents and was successful in doing so at Monza’s Stadio Brianteo after recovering from a goal down in each of the season’s opening two games to win all three points.
Beto had leveled the Bianconeri just four minutes after they had fallen behind in the first half, but Destiny Udogie’s goal in the 77th minute clinched the victory and gave his team four points after three Serie A games.
The first game for Andrea Sottil’s club is against Fiorentina, who they lost to at home last year, before a difficult series of games against Roma and Inter before the middle of next month. They were previously held by Salernitana and defeated by Milan. The Friuli club’s confidence would have been boosted ahead of those tests after posting its fourth away victory in seven tries.
However, in their most recent meeting in April, Udinese stunned Serie A with a 4-0 victory in Florence, with another goal from Udogie. It would be nice to see that feat replicated in the middle of the week, but given Fiorentina’s defensive history, the chances are not in their favor.
Fiorentina has recently been irritated by a streak of draws, but closer examination reveals that three straight 0-0 matches have not, by any stretch of the imagination, been terrible.
The Viola successfully qualified for the group stage by holding Twente scoreless in their Europa Conference League playoff second leg after being held by their Tuscan rivals Empoli in Serie A.
Then, on Sunday night, Vincenzo Italiano led his club to a crucial point against potential Scudetto rivals Napoli at home in a tense game that neither team was able to fully dominate. Despite Italiano’s reputation for liking aggressive football, Fiorentina has amassed a commendable defensive record during 2022.
They have now preserved eight clean sheets at home in Florence from 12 league games this season; only league champion Milan have more. However, their performance suffers when they are not in Florence.
The Viola have only triumphed in six of their twenty road games since the start of the previous campaign. They need to fix this flaw if they wish to catch up to the top six Serie A teams.
Given their struggles away from home and current goal drought, Udinese is a team that Fiorentina may have to settle for a single point against but offers a significant threat of their own when playing at their best.