Udinese began the season poorly but have improved in recent weeks and will be hoping for a third consecutive victory when they host Catania at the Stadio Communale Fruili on Wednesday (7.45pm GMT).
The club’s poor start to the campaign was unsurprising in light of the fact that they again parted with a number of their best players over the summer. Following in the footsteps of the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Zapata and Goklan Inler, this year Kwando Asamoah, Mauricio Isla and Samir Handanovic left through the Fruili exit gates.
It takes time for a team to readjust to the absence of such players and Udinese very much gave the impression of a team in flux when they lost two and drew one of their first three matches. Victory over AC Milan in round four was followed by two goalless draws and a defeat away to Napoli, but successive wins over Pescara and Roma have provided hope that the corner has now been turned.
It is probably too much to expect Francesco Guidolin to again drag his team to a top three finish, but Wednesday’s match marks the beginning of a run of four eminently winnable matches that should see them move into the top six.
Catania secured two victories and 10 draws away from home last season, making them one of the most difficult visiting sides in the league. They looked set to continue similarly this season when they drew 2-2 at Roma on the opening day of the campaign, but have since slipped to three consecutive away defeats (to Fiorentina, Bologna and Inter Milan) without scoring.
Our Preview’s Betting Tip: Catania (18/5 at best with BetVictor to win this) have been excellent at home this season but have struggled on their travels. The draw is at 5/2 with Bet365 & BetVictor but with Udinese beginning to find form, a home victory looks the most likely outcome.
- Therefore, back Udinese to win @ best odds of 20/21 with Stan James.