Bologna play Lazio at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on Monday (8pm GMT, live on ESPN) looking to record a third consecutive home victory that would help them pull away from the bottom three.
Bologna have not been having the best of seasons and currently lie 17th in the table, just one place and two points above the drop zone, with four wins, two draws and nine defeats to their name.
Stefano Pioli’s men achieved a credible ninth place finish last season and are actually scoring goals at a slightly improved rate this time around despite the departure of Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez over the summer.
They are, however, conceding more goals than last season (1.33 per match, on average, in comparison to 1.13) and have kept just two clean sheets to date.
Bologna drew 32% of their matches last season, but have drawn just 13% so far in this campaign, that odd extra goal conceded here and there leading to six defeats by a one goal margin already this season.
Lazio are enjoying a much better campaign and are in fifth, just six points behind leaders Juventus. They have conceded just two less than Bologna but have scored seven more, with Hernanes and Miroslav Klose in particularly good form in the final third.
Klose will, however, be missing through injury on Monday and Lazio may struggle to replace his predatory instinct in the penalty area. Klose has scored nine times in 14 appearances this season. No other Lazio striker has found the back of the net to date.
For a side that rely heavily on attacking down the flanks to feed a central striker, the absence of a finisher of Klose’s calibre is likely to be keenly felt. Lazio failed to score in a 4-0 defeat away to Catania in the only other match Klose has missed this season.
This Preview’s Betting Tip: Bologna are not having the best of seasons, but have performed well at home in recent weeks and against a Lazio side deprived of their primary goal threat should be able to record a third home win on the bounce. Back Bologna to win @ best odds of 2/1 at Ladbrokes.