Preview: Frosinone vs. Udinese – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Serie A clash between Frosinone and Udinese, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A high-stakes shootout for Serie A survival takes place at Stadio Benito Stirpe on Sunday evening, as both Frosinone and Udinese fight to avoid relegation.

While a win is required for the visitors to guarantee extending their long stay in the top flight, their hosts can secure back-to-back Serie A seasons for the first time ever by holding out for a draw.

Match preview

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A late-season revival could yet save Frosinone from demotion, as after a sparkling start to their top-tier comeback was followed by a dramatic midterm nosedive, the Canarini now hold their destiny in their own hands.

Head coach Eusebio Di Francesco first took the plaudits for steering last year’s Serie B champions towards mid-table safety, but one win from 20 then left them staring at the trapdoor with just a few weeks remaining.

Now unbeaten in seven of their last eight league matches – including last week’s crucial 1-0 win over Monza – a more resilient side have stopped shipping goals, keeping five clean sheets during that time; no team have managed more throughout Serie A.

While Juventus loanee Matias Soule – the central figure in Frosinone’s initial success – has apparently run out of steam, Napoli-owned striker Walid Cheddira has started to pick up the slack, making himself an undisputed first-choice selection and scoring vital goals.

Following his latest effort, which saw the Gialloblu take three points back home from Monza, Cheddira could help finish the job this weekend: even a draw with Udinese would stop Sunday’s hosts slipping straight back into the second tier.

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Serie A’s bottom two clubs – Sassuolo and Salernitana – are already doomed, but Udinese dramatically improved their chances of avoiding an 18th-placed finish by holding direct rivals Empoli to a last-gasp draw in their penultimate fixture.

Though their Tuscan counterparts went ahead through a 90th-minute penalty in Udine, Serbian midfielder Lazar Samardzic stayed cool to convert his own spot kick deep into stoppage time and keep the Bianconeri’s heads just above the water line.

One point clear of the drop zone heading into Sunday evening’s finale, only if Udinese lose and the Empoli beat Roma will they be relegated; should they lose and Empoli draw, then a two-legged playoff would ensue.

Having spent some 29 years at Italy’s elite level, the Fruili club are keen to make it three straight decades of Serie A football, so recently-arrived head coach Fabio Cannavaro will be desperate to extend his team’s four-match unbeaten streak.

Since replacing Gabriele Cioffi last month, the World Cup-winner has steadied the ship somewhat, but Udinese’s trend of turning three points into one has relentlessly continued.

No fewer than 19 of the Bianconeri’s games have finished level in 2023-24, and they have drawn the most matches across Europe’s top five leagues this term – one more draw could result in a nerve-jangling playoff, so victory will be Cannavaro’s sole target at Stadio Stirpe.

Frosinone Serie A form:

Udinese Serie A form:

Team News

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Eusebio Di Francesco may have Luca Mazzitelli back from a thigh injury for Sunday’s season-ending contest, but Frosinone goalkeeper Stefano Turati is again set to join Anthony Oyono and Sergio Kalaj on the sidelines.

Michele Cerofolini could therefore line up behind an unchanged starting lineup, spearheaded by in-form frontman Walid Cheddira.

After last week’s strike against Monza, the latter equalled the Serie A record for most goals by a Moroccan player in one season, moving level on seven with Achraf Hakimi – and no-one has scored more times in Italy’s top flight since the start of March.

Meanwhile, Udinese’s sharp-shooting midfielder Lazar Samardzic saved the Friulani’s skin last weekend and has now found the net in back-to-back matches.

He may play in an advanced role again, with both Florian Thauvin and captain Roberto Pereyra missing some training due to injury; Brazilian forward Brenner or ex-Aston Villa striker Keinan Davis could also support eight-goal top scorer Lorenzo Lucca in the final third.

Long-term absentees Enzo Ebosse and Gerard Deulofeu have recently been joined by Sandi Lovric, Isaac Success and back-up goalkeeper Marco Silvestri in a busy treatment room.

Frosinone possible starting lineup:
Cerofolini; Lirola, Romagnoli, Okoli; Zortea, Barrenechea, Brescianini, Valeri; Soule, Harroui; Cheddira

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Okoye; Perez, Bijol, Kristensen; Ehizibue, Payero, Walace, Kamara; Samardzic, Pereyra; Lucca

We say: Frosinone 2-2 Udinese

A lot is on the line for both clubs this weekend, so whichever side handles the pressure best will surely prevail.

Frosinone have won seven times on home turf this season, so they should be able to earn the point needed for safety. Udinese, meanwhile, would have to hope Empoli lose to Roma if they record yet another draw – otherwise a playoff or even relegation could be the Fruilani’s fate.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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