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Nov 5, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Di Francesco (62'), Zurkowski (72')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Criscito (13' pen.), Bianchi (89')
Rovella (27'), Sturaro (64'), Masiello (74'), Vasquez (83')

Preview: Empoli vs. Genoa - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Empoli play host to Genoa on Friday evening looking for the victory which would move them into eighth position in the Serie A standings.

Meanwhile, Genoa make the trip to the Carlo Castellani Stadium looking to end an eight-match winless streak in Italy's top flight.

Match preview

During what has been an unpredictable start to the new Serie A campaign, it would be going too far to suggest that Empoli have produced the most surprising set of results.

Nevertheless, five wins from 11, four of which have been recorded from home, have left Aurelio Andreazzoli's side close to the top half of the table in their first year back in the division.

Despite possessing a favourable schedule over the coming months, no-one will be getting ahead of themselves, but there is a quiet belief that they have the potential to enjoy a stress-free season.

Results such as the one on Sunday helps matters, Empoli scoring twice in the final seven minutes to overcome a Sassuolo side that had previously defeated Juventus.

Andrea Pinamonti added his fourth goal of the campaign from the penalty spot, and there will be hope that Wolverhampton Wanderers loanee Patrick Cutrone can eventually match his strike partner in the final third.

Trailing their next opponents by seven points is not what Genoa manager Davide Ballardini would have envisaged ahead of the November international break.

Genoa have kept things ticking over with five draws, all of which have been recorded since September 21, but Il Grifone need maximum points sooner rather than later.

Failing to take advantage of games against Spezia and Venezia was particularly frustrating, a draw only being claimed versus the former courtesy of a late penalty.

Ballardini appears to be making progress with a defence which were far too open during the early stages of the season, but the likes of Mattia Destro and Domenico Criscito require more assistance in the final third having contributed two thirds of the team's goals.

Empoli Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Genoa Serie A form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D

Team News

Andreazzoli will have to make at least one change to his Empoli XI with Petar Stojanovic serving a one-match ban for five yellow cards.

Riccardo Fiamozzi is in line to make his first start of the season at right-back, while Szymon Zurkowski will hope to feature in midfield after netting the winner against Sassuolo as a substitute.

Cutrone is pushing for a recall ahead of Federico Di Francesco in attack, but Samuel Ricci may have to make do with a spot among the replacements on his return from suspension.

Felipe Caicedo could finally be handed his first start in a Genoa start, taking the place of Goran Pandev in the final third.

Barring any late fitness issues, the remainder of the starting lineup may remain the same.

Empoli possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Fiamozzi, Tonelli, Viti, Marchizza; Haas, Stulac, Bandinelli; Henderson; Francesco, Pinamonti

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Cambiaso, Biraschi, Vasquez, Criscito; Sturaro, Badelj, Rovella; Galdames; Destro, Caicedo

We say: Empoli 1-1 Genoa

Given Empoli's abysmal home record, we cannot back them to prevail from this contest with any great confidence. With that in mind, a draw seems to be the most likely outcome, a result which would not necessarily suit either team.

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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