Preview: Empoli vs. Cremonese

Cremonese could move outside of the relegation zone by beating Empoli in Serie A on Friday night.

Empoli, meanwhile, will be aiming to return to winning ways having lost three of their last four matches.

Admittedly, those defeats have come against three of the division’s top five teams in the shape of Juventus, Atalanta, and the league leaders Napoli on Tuesday evening.

Paolo Zanetti’s side managed to keep their opponents out until the 69th minute at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, with Hirving Lozano dispatching his penalty before Piotr Zielinski ensured that his side won for the 10th successive time in Serie A after Sebastiano Luperto had been given his marching orders with 15 minutes remaining.

In their final match before breaking for the World Cup, Zanetti will be keen to see Gli Azzurri return to winning ways against a potential relegation rival on Friday evening, with a victory moving them 10 points clear of their opponents – and potentially the bottom three depending on results elsewhere – in the process.

Having beaten Monza and Sassuolo 1-0 at Stadio Carlo Castellani in recent weeks, keeping things tight at the back once again will be imperative in terms of gaining the result they are looking for.

Cremonese, meanwhile, drew for a third consecutive match as they held AC Milan to a 0-0 draw at Stadio Giovanni Zini on Tuesday evening.

As expected, the visitors dominated possession with 73% of the ball, but they could not convert their 16 shots into a crucial goal, with the absence of Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao in their starting XI potentially proving costly for them.

La Cremo are still searching for their first league win of the season since gaining promotion, but their seventh draw in 14 games moved them up to 18th in the table ahead of their trip to Empoli on Friday.

Massimiliano Alvini, who was appointed as head coach during the summer, will be determined to repay the faith shown in him by Cremonese’s board by ending their winless start to the campaign, which could move them out of the bottom three ahead of the World Cup depending on results elsewhere across the weekend.

Empoli Serie A form:

Cremonese Serie A form:

Cremonese form (all competitions):

We say: Empoli 0-0 Cremonese
Two of Cremonese’s last three matches have finished goalless, and we can envisage that same scoreline occurring once again on Friday night.

Empoli have struggled for goals themselves in recent weeks, but they have kept a clean sheet in two of their last three home games and should prove tough to beat.a

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