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Feb 12, 2022 at 2pm UK
Immobile (13' pen.), Zaccagni (53', 63')
Alberto (40'), Leiva (59')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Svanberg (20'), Medel (45')

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

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

Following their chastening Coppa Italia defeat in midweek, Lazio look to bounce back in Serie A on Saturday, as they meet Bologna at Stadio Olimpico.

The visitors' form has dipped in recent weeks, and they have won only one of their last eight league games after a draw with Empoli last time out, while the hosts had edged up into sixth in the standings before their cup loss to Milan.

Match preview

All seemed rosy in the Lazio camp after a fine 3-0 win at Fiorentina last Saturday saw the capital club extend their unbeaten run to four games in all competitions.

However, the Biancocelesti - whose first two goals in Florence were scored by star duo Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile - were quickly brought back down to earth by Milan on Wednesday night, as they crashed to a 4-0 defeat at San Siro.

Three goals down before the half-time whistle, Maurizio Sarri's men saw an improving defensive record - having just kept a clean sheet in three consecutive Serie A matches for the first time in seven years - torn apart at the hands of the rampant Rossoneri.

Though Lazio still occupy the Europa League qualifying spot in Serie A, their previously stellar home form has begun to slip too, and after previously posting four successive league victories at Stadio Olimpico, the Aquile have won just one of their last five in Rome.

Ahead of Bologna's visit to the capital, though, Lazio have lost only one of their last 20 home matches against the Emilian outfit, scoring 39 goals in the process.

So, after suffering a humbling defeat against one of their former managers in midweek, Sarri and company will expect to fare better when they welcome a Lazio legend back to Roman soil on Saturday.

Known for speaking his opinion freely, Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic openly admitted to mixed emotions after he had masterminded the Rossoblu's shock 3-0 win over Lazio in early October.

The former Serbia centre-back even declared: "I'm a Lazio fan, I can't celebrate. We needed this win, but when Lazio suffers, something inside doesn't let me cheer," so his position on the return fixture should be fairly transparent.

Despite such reluctance, Mihajlovic's Bologna have won each of their last two meetings with this weekend's hosts - keeping a clean sheet on both occasions - and after having failed to win any of the previous 15, they could now win three in a row against them for the first time since 1980.

However, to do so will require a swift reversal in their nosediving form, as they have picked up only four points from their last eight games following a 1-1 draw with another side in decline, mid-table rivals Empoli.

Currently 13th in the standings, 10 points above the drop zone and 11 points shy of Lazio in the last guaranteed European place, Bologna could be set for a long tail-end to what had been developing into a promising campaign, if they cannot soon find a first win of 2022.

Away results have been a major part of the Emilians' descent into the bottom half, and before they travel south on Saturday, they have accrued only three wins on the road so far this term - conceding at a rate of almost two goals per game.

Lazio Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Lazio form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

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

Team News

Not only were Lazio eliminated from the Coppa Italia in ignominious fashion on Wednesday, but top scorer Ciro Immobile also limped off during the defeat at San Siro. Though the Italy international returned to the fray following treatment, he only lasted a few minutes before being withdrawn by a concerned Maurizio Sarri, so could miss out this weekend.

Once again, Sarri is set to be without Francesco Acerbi - leaving the hosts light in defence; a department which has already conceded 46 goals in domestic competition - and midfielder Jean-Daniel Akpa Akpro, both due to injury.

If Immobile is unavailable, even more goalscoring pressure will fall on the broad shoulders of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is one of two midfielders (the other being Dimitri Payet) to have both netted eight or more goals and delivered at least eight assists throughout the top five European leagues.

Meanwhile, the visitors' chief goal threat Marko Arnautovic has scored only six league goals all season, and is goalless in his last eight Serie A appearances - his worst run in European football since mid-2019.

The Austria striker could be supported by Riccardo Orsolini and Roberto Soriano in his lone role up front, though Musa Barrow appeared from the bench last weekend following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations and may now start.

Bologna will have defender Lorenzo De Silvestri sidelined due to suspension, but wing-back Aaron Hickey is now back from a ban and could cover on the right. Meanwhile, midfield pair Kingsley Michael and Nicolas Dominguez remain out injured.

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Strakosha; Hysaj, Felipe, Patric, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto; Pedro, Immobile, Zaccagni

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Theate, Medel, Soumaoro; Hickey, Svanberg, Schouten, Soriano, Dijks; Orsolini; Arnautovic

We say: Lazio 2-1 Bologna

Though concerns remain about their dubious back line, Lazio have perhaps the ideal opponents to come up against following a dispiriting cup loss.

The Aquile's fluent front three will surely give the run around to a Bologna rearguard low on confidence due to recent events, and they can be expected to score at least twice on home soil.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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