Monday, September 20
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Sep 19, 2021 at 2pm UK
Ceccaroni (59')
Mazzocchi (26'), Vacca (57'), Busio (69'), Heymans (84')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Bastoni (13'), Bourabia (90+4')
Ferrer (47')

Preview: Venezia vs. Spezia - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Newly-promoted Venezia will be looking to claim successive Serie A victories when they host Spezia on Sunday afternoon.

The two sides last faced each other in July 2020, when the Arancioneroverdi secured a narrow 1-0 victory in Serie B.

Match preview

After beginning their first Serie A campaign in 19 years with two defeats, Venezia finally claimed all three points when they beat fellow newly-promoted side Empoli 2-1 away from home last weekend.

Summer signings Thomas Henry and David Okereke scored the club's first two goals of the new season, before Nedim Bajrami converted an 89th-minute penalty to pull one back for the hosts.

Paolo Zanetti is now preparing his side for their first home match this term, after construction work at the Stadio Paolo Mazza forced the Arancioneroverdi to play their first three league games on the road.

Venezia have a solid record against Sunday's opponents Spezia, as they are unbeaten in 18 of their last 19 meetings against them across all competitions. They also have an impressive home record against the Aquilotti, winning 10 and drawing three of their last 13 matches.

Zanetti's men are expected to struggle this campaign, though if they are to claim precious points and move away from danger, fixtures against the likes of Spezia will be games they should look to target.

Unlike Venezia, Spezia are yet to claim their first win of the new season and suffered their second successive loss at home against Udinese last weekend.

A closely-fought contest, in which the hosts had 19 attempts on goal, was decided by an 89th minute strike from Lazar Samardzic, securing all three points for the visitors.

Thiago Motta, who took charge of the Aquilotti in July, will be desperate to claim his first victory at the helm and should be confident in doing so against a newly-promoted side on Sunday.

Spezia have claimed seven points from a possible 12 available against newly-promoted teams in Serie A, with their only defeat away from home against Crotone, losing 4-1 in December 2020.

The Aquilotti will be keen to improve on their last away performance after suffering a heavy 6-1 defeat against Lazio last month, a game in which Daniele Verde scored a fourth-minute opener.

With tricky encounters against Juventus and AC Milan around the corner, Motta will be hoping his team can secure all three points on Sunday, which would give the whole squad a boost as they head into a challenging run of fixtures.

Venezia Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • W

Venezia form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Spezia Serie A form:
  • D
  • L
  • L

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

Team News

Venezia midfielders Dor Peretz and Lauri Ala-Myllymaki remain out with knee injuries, while Luca Lezzerini is suffering with a muscle problem.

Zanetti is unlikely to make too many changes to his starting lineup, though Chelsea loanee Ethan Ampadu could be in line to make his debut on Sunday, and it will be intriguing to see whether the versatile Welshman is used as a midfielder or a defender in the 38-year-old's side.

Finnish goalkeeper Niki Maenpaa, who has recovered from a back injury, was brought on at half time against Empoli and is set to return to the first XI at the expense of Luca Lezzerini.

As Spezia winger Kevin Agudelo returned to the matchday squad last weekend, having recovered from a fractured foot, the visitors now have a fully fit squad to choose from this weekend.

The Aquilotti will, however, be without defender Kelvin Amian who is to serve the second game of his three-match suspension, after receiving a straight red card against Lazio.

Motta's side signed four players on deadline day – Rey Manaj, Mehdi Bourabia, Leandro Sanca and Mikael Egill Ellertsson – and they will all be in contention to start their first game for the club on Sunday.

Venezia possible starting lineup:
Maenpaa; Mazzocchi, Caldara, Ampadu, Schnegg; Heymans, Vacca, Busio; Aramu, Henry, Johnsen

Spezia possible starting lineup:
Zoet; Ferrer, Hristov, Nikolaou, Bastoni; Kovalenko, Bourabia, Maggiore; Verde, Manaj, Gyasi

We say: Venezia 2-1 Spezia

Both Venezia and Spezia will view this fixture as a winnable Serie A game and a great opportunity to put three points on the board.

There is little to separate the two sides, but as the hosts seem to have a stronger forward line, including Henry and Okereke, we think they may have enough to claim a narrow victory this weekend.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away 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/Away:data

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