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

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

Rock-bottom Salernitana seek their first win of the Serie A season on Saturday afternoon, as they welcome Genoa to Stadio Arechi.

While the home side have yet to taste victory in six attempts since promotion, the Grifone are also struggling at the wrong end of the standings after conceding a late goal last week left them three games without a win.

Match preview

Having previously claimed their first Serie A point since the turn of the century when they salvaged a 2-2 draw at home versus Verona, hopes were heightened in the Salernitana camp of adding a further three to their tally when visiting Sassuolo last weekend.

Though the Campanian club have certainly improved since their heavy early losses to Roma and Torino, they were again unable to prevent their opponents taking the spoils, as Domenico Berardi's second-half strike proved the difference between the sides at the Mapei Stadium.

That latest setback represented not only the Granata's fifth defeat in six league games after finishing last term as Serie B runners-up, but also was their fourth failure to hit the net within 90 minutes.

In fact, only La Liga strugglers Getafe have so far failed to score in a higher share of their league matches across the top five European leagues in 2021-22, so coach Fabrizio Castori knows he has much work to do at either end if he is to remain in charge of the Salerno side's attempts to defy the drop. Even getting a useful share of the ball has proved difficult for his team, whose league-low average of 36.7% is most closely followed by Saturday's opponents Genoa (41.7%).

Only during the long-distant 1947-48 season have the Granata and their Genoese counterparts previously faced off in Serie A, with their most recent meetings coming in the lower leagues over 15 years ago, and if Castori and company are to have realistic ambitions of staving off relegation they will need to take points from games such as this, against fellow bottom-half dwellers.

Five points from their last four games may represent something of a minor revival for Genoa following a slow start to the season, but the Ligurians were frustrated in their attempts to record just a second league win when they were stung by a late equaliser last weekend.

In an eventful affair at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, visitors Verona took control after going 2-0 up, but then conceded three goals in the space of eight frantic minutes to the Grifone - with last term's top scorer Mattia Destro bagging a pair alongside Domenico Criscito's penalty.

However, Hellas then responded in stoppage time; snatching a point through a 91st-minute Nikola Kalinic header, which earned them a 3-3 draw and left Genoa sitting 16th in the table ahead of this weekend's seventh round.

Even if such haphazard defending means that Davide Ballardini's men have conceded as many times as Salernitana (15), they have won three of their last five Serie A away matches before their trip south to Salerno - which is as many as they had managed in their previous 18 games on the road.

Therefore, with Destro back among the goals - the former Roma striker now has four from as many games - Genoa can be confident of breaching the back line of the division's most lowly side.

Salernitana Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L

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

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

Team News

After coming off injured last week, Genoa have confirmed that centre-back Davide Biraschi has suffered an adductor injury and will be out for three weeks, so Grifone coach Davide Ballardini will not have one of his defensive mainstays back until after the international break.

Biraschi's absence opens the door for Mattia Bani to return to the starting lineup after being benched last time out, while another candidate - young Inter loanee Zinho Vanheusden - may also be unavailable for a few days with a thigh injury and is a major doubt.

Veteran striker Felipe Caicedo is almost ready to return, but the Ecuadorian will not be at Ballardini's disposal on Saturday, leaving Goran Pandev, Mattia Destro and Yahya Kallon the most likely contenders to occupy the forward positions.

Both Francesco Cassata and Stefano Sturaro are still missing from the midfield, which should feature Milan Badelj and Nicolo Rovella at its heart.

For the hosts, meanwhile, Ramzi Aya, Matteo Ruggeri and Leonardo Capezzi will be absent due to injury, with the latter this week undergoing knee surgery.

Nigerian forward Simy, who netted 20 times in Serie A for relegated Crotone last season, should start up front. He is set to be supported by ageing wing wizard Franck Ribery, who was rested against Sassuolo due to fatigue.

Salernitana possible starting lineup:
Belec; Gyomber, Strandberg, Gagliolo, Jaroszynski; M. Coulibaly, L. Coulibaly, Di Tacchio; Ribery; Gondo, Simy

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Sabelli, Maksimovic, Bani, Criscito; Behrami, Rovella, Badelj; Kallon, Fares; Destro

We say: Salernitana 2-2 Genoa

Neither side has covered themselves in glory with their work in defensive areas this season, so both will be able to let their experienced forwards flourish in a game which will ultimately see the spoils shared.

Though Salernitana may have to wait until after the international period for a first Serie A success since their long top-flight absence finally came to an end, a point will help stop them from being cut adrift from fellow drop dodgers such as Genoa.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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