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Dec 5, 2021 at 11.30am UK
Barrow (42'), Hickey (83')
Dominguez (24'), Theate (50'), Soumaoro (90+4')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Maleh (33'), Biraghi (51'), Vlahovic (67' pen.)
Torreira (25'), Milenkovic (64'), Amrabat (90')

Preview: Bologna vs. Fiorentina - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Bologna vs. Fiorentina - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Bologna and Fiorentina, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Four wins from their last five games sees Bologna now level on points with unpredictable Fiorentina, before the in-form pair clash at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on Sunday.

An impressive victory over Roma in midweek lifted the Rossoblu to eighth in the Serie A standings, separated only by goal difference from their Viola visitors.

Match preview

Having emerged as an early contender for the European places thanks to some fine recent form, Bologna welcomed Roma to Emilia-Romagna on Wednesday in hope of improving a less than stellar home record.

Due to an alert performance from their former Giallorossi goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski, and Matthias Svanberg's superb 35th-minute strike, Sinisa Mihajlovic's men were able to post a second home success of the season, to draw to within one point of their counterparts from the capital.

Only a late-November defeat at Dall'Ara to promoted Venezia has blotted Bologna's copybook of late, then, as they have also beaten Sampdoria, Cagliari and Spezia since the start of last month. Undoubtedly, a significant improvement at the back has played its part in the Rossoblu's revival, with just two goals being conceded in nearly 500 minutes of top-flight football since a heavy defeat to leaders Napoli.

Once a defender of global renown, Mihajlovic will therefore measure his chances of ending an unwanted personal record against his former club as being particularly good this time around.

The Bologna boss has won none of his last seven matches versus Fiorentina in Serie A, with his last league victory over the Tuscan outfit coming as far back as October 2016, while in charge of Torino. So if his current club are to leapfrog the Viola in the table this weekend, then that run must be drawn to an end.

Not only are Fiorentina well versed at seeing off the sides of their one-time coach, they also remain unbeaten in each of their last 14 games against Bologna in Serie A and have come away with a point from their last three trips to Dall'Ara.

However, before their latest visit to Rossoblu territory, Vincenzo Italiano's entertaining team have lost each of their last four away games, representing their worst such run since 2008.

The Viola's most recent reverse on the road was last weekend, when they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Tuscan rivals Empoli, following a dramatic late collapse. Dusan Vlahovic's opening goal was rendered irrelevant on that occasion, but the Serbian striker once again found the target in midweek, as Fiorentina bounced back with another home win.

After falling behind early on, Italiano's men showed great spirit to roar into a 3-1 lead by the interval against Sampdoria, and ultimately held on to that scoreline to pick up a fifth victory of the campaign at Stadio Artemio Franchi.

With another strike this Sunday, 14-goal top scorer Vlahovic - who has racked up 29 so far throughout 2021 - could become only the fourth player in Serie A history to register at least 30 strikes in a single calendar year while aged under 22, and the first since 1958.

Speculation persists about whether Fiorentina can hold onto the prolific frontman during the next transfer window, but his presence will be vital if the league's most hit-or-miss side - who have won eight and lost seven of their fixtures this term - are to maintain a challenge for a place in the top six.

Bologna Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Fiorentina Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Team News

Sinisa Mihajlovic's hopes of keeping a settled side have been hit by an injury to star striker Marko Arnautovic, who limped off in the opening minutes of the win over Roma on Wednesday.

A hamstring injury means that the Austrian forward should be replaced by Musa Barrow, who is expected to shift up front for Bologna, most probably supported by Nicola Sansone and Riccardo Orsolini, with the influential Roberto Soriano in behind.

Kevin Bonifazi, Kingsley Michael and Jerdy Schouten are all set to join Arnautovic on the sidelines, as Mihajlovic names an otherwise unchanged starting XI.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, will be without Gaetano Castrovilli and Matija Nastasic once again, but midfielder Erick Pulgar could return from an ankle problem to feature on the bench. Goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski is closing in on a comeback from his long injury layoff, but Pietro Terracciano still starts between the posts.

Despite his side's flakiness away from home, Vincenzo Italiano is likely to persist with an attacking 4-3-3 formation tipped by Dusan Vlahovic, who will receive service via any two from Riccardo Sottil, Nicolas Gonzalez, Riccardo Saponara or Jose Callejon stationed out wide.

Callejon, who found the net on Tuesday, has previously scored four times in Serie A versus Bologna, against whom he made his league debut for Napoli back in August 2013.

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Soumaoro, Medel, Theate; Orsolini, Dominguez, Svanberg, Hickey; Soriano, Sansone; Barrow

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Terracciano; Venuti, Milenkovic, Martinez Quarta, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Torreira, Duncan; Gonzalez, Vlahovic, Callejon

We say: Bologna 1-1 Fiorentina

While Fiorentina cannot stop scoring on home soil, they have netted just once during their last four away matches, so a solid Bologna side should probably have the edge in Sunday's early kickoff.

However, logic dictates that the Viola must eventually record a first draw of the season, and it could come at Dall'Ara this week, thanks to an attacking triumvirate which will cause problems for their hosts' back three.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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