Preview: Bologna vs. Spezia

Preview: Bologna vs. Spezia

Seeking to surpass their hosts in the Serie A standings, Spezia travel to Bologna on Monday evening now just one place and two points behind them.

However, they have yet to beat the Rossoblu since reaching the top flight in 2020 and have taken only a point from their last two games.

Since December, it has been Bologna who have lost the most matches in Serie A, and they have now won only one of their last nine league fixtures after a 3-0 loss to Lazio last time out.

That defeat at Stadio Olimpico also means that the Emilian side have failed to score in either of their last two games and have found the net just twice in their last five – indicating the root of their continued decline.

Under the reign of combustible coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, the Rossoblu have never before gone three in a row without finding the net in Serie A – and will hope to avoid doing so on Monday, given their defensive deficiencies. Bologna have already conceded 40 league goals this season, and only twice in their top-flight history have they shipped more at this stage – both during the 1950s.

Currently 13th in the standings, seven points above the drop zone and now far adrift of the European places they hovered beneath during the autumn, Mihajlovic’s men could even be set for a relegation battle if they cannot find a first win of 2022 sooner rather than later.

Ahead of their latest attempt, at least they will have fresh memories of a 1-0 victory in November’s reverse fixture at Stadio Alberto Picco.

As is customary, after receiving January’s ‘Manager of the Month’ award for his side’s surprising upturn in form, Thiago Motta has since been struck by the ‘curse’ – drawing at bottom club Salernitana before a last-gasp defeat on Monday.

Former coach Vincenzo Italiano returned to the scene of his breakthrough managerial success, as Spezia hosted Fiorentina in their best form of the season under Motta, who had been perilously close to getting the sack earlier this term.

Having gone four games unbeaten before kickoff – including three straight wins against Milan, Genoa and Sampdoria – the Aquilotti had not been beaten in the league since mid-December, but lost out to Sofyan Amrabat’s late goal, which ultimately rendered Kevin Agudelo’s 74th-minute equaliser meaningless.

Nonetheless, for the first time in their brief Serie A history, Spezia have now scored in eight consecutive games, while in the process of picking up 14 points – only Juventus, Lazio, Napoli and Milan fared better over that period.

In their third straight Monday night contest, the Ligurians could now win their fifth away game of the campaign – more than they managed in the entire 2020-21 season, when they survived their debut in the Italian elite.

Bologna Serie A form:
Spezia Serie A form:

We say: Bologna 1-0 Spezia
It may be a tense watch at Dall’Ara, but Bologna can grind out a narrow margin of victory against a Spezia side whose brief spell of superb form seems to be dissipating.

The hosts score at a rate barely above a goal per game on home soil, but if they can keep a rare clean sheet, then the three points should be all theirs.

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