Frosinone udinese

Frosinone v Udinese Match Preview, Scouting and Predictions


This season’s riveting relegation struggle, which has already had its fair share of surprises, comes down to two matches, Frosinone-Udinese and Empoli-Roma.

  Serie A Week 38– Sunday 26 May  2024 – Benito Stirpe | Preview by Enrico Passarella



Frosinone waited for the last possible moment to grab their first away victory of the season, although seven draws are a respectable haul, as they nipped Monza last week. That allows them to go into the final round with a narrow margin and two results at their disposal to avoid the drop. Empoli need to beat Roma, which have nothing on the line, to get out of the bottom three and doom one of these two sides. With two draws, Udinese would go to Serie B.

Considering their manager and his philosophy, they won’t speculate and play for the tie, even though it’d be enough. They have made strides defensively in the last couple of months, but their proactiveness has always been their signature trait.

They’d buck a pair of trends if they succeeded, as tradition isn’t in their favor. It’s rare for all the freshly promoted sides to avoid relegation together. Genoa were really never in doubt, and Cagliari have been in the driver’s seat for a while and did the deed. Given the respective squads, ownerships, and history, the Ciociari were naturally the most at risk before the start of the season, and the prognostications weren’t far off. A super-established team, Sassuolo, already went down. It’d be weird but not undeserved if another one did the same.

Unfortunately, they had a usual trajectory for a minnow, getting off to a promising start that fueled hopes for a serene campaign, but then they fell into a lengthy swoon. They snapped out of it just in time to prevent things from unraveling too much. Their management has been good in not panicking and opting for a coaching change.

Di Francesco’s style proved not to be a great fit for the relegation struggle in previous years, when other front offices weren’t so patient. They took an unusual route for sides fighting for survival and continued to back him. Generally, young squads don’t do so well. Instead, their enthusiasm has been their main driving force. They need to avoid turtling in the crucible of pressure now.

The coach has made some compromises but didn’t renege on his identity. He did away with 4-3-3 because he didn’t have a good enough winger opposite Matias Soulé. But the 3-4-2-1 they have been leaning on from February on is equally aggressive as he features a pure fullback, Pol Lirola, as a center-back. Emanuele Valeri and Nadir Zortea were precious winter additions. They were in a bind on the left after losing Riccardo Marchizza to a serious thigh injury. They would have a more standard and less cutting-edge formation if they didn’t add another right wingback.

It’s remarkable that such a tactic, which is by no means easy to run and requires the right pieces, has become the crutch for teams in need in Serie A. That’s the power of Gian Piero Gasperini, Ivan Juric, and all the other disciples who made it work, each with their flair. Thanks to the acquisitions, they only needed a pair of adjustments to be off and running. Its main advantage is that its success rarely depends on just one man, and its cogs are replaceable without a major drop-off.

Soulé’s scoring has taken a tumble lately, which was natural as it would have been an incredible achievement to get close to the 20-goal threshold, which he was on track early on. But his importance to the team surely hasn’t waned, which is reassuring for his future. Some players get checked out or down in the dumps when they aren’t producing, but that hasn’t been his case. It still feels like a gem or a swift move is coming whenever he has the ball.

Their best version features Marco Brescianini as the other no.10, who’s a jack of all trades as a pure box-to-box with a decent nose for scoring. They haven’t always been able to use it due to injuries and suspensions, as they really have just three central midfielders. It’d help if Luca Mazzitelli was a full go after an ailment or Abdou Harroui fared like last week after a few injury-ridden months that deprived them of one of their centerpieces.

Things clicked once Walid Cheddira found his touch in the box, starting to convert chances at the same rate and in all sorts of fashions as he did in Serie B last season. Kaio Jorge has been okay in stretches but is more of a second striker than a goal-poacher. He had his moments when the teammate fell into a slump, but he’s not clutch enough to be a go-to guy.

It’ll probably be a very cagey game with the two teams keeping close tabs on what’s going on in Empoli. Still, Frosinone should look to use the situation to their advantage. Udinese will have to try to pull the strings, at least in some phases of the game. They will have to be as solid as in recent fixtures and ready to unleash devastating counters thanks to the explosivity of their wingbacks and forwards, who can feast on open spaces.

Expected XI (3-4-2-1): Cerofolini; Lirola, Romagnoli, Okoli; Zortea, Barrenechea, Brescianini, Valeri; Soulé, Harroui; Cheddira. 

Doubts:  Harroui/Gelli. 

Injury report: Mazzitelli (thigh injury) – Questionable. 

Turati (hand injury), Oyono (ankle surgery) – OUT.



It’s rare for a team to go an entire season without ever winning two consecutive matches. Even more so when the brass tried to provide a jolt with two coaching changes. Instead, they have been very monotone all year, equalizing a thousand times and grabbing the occasional victory that prevented them from sinking.

It’s weirder in their instances as they are more accustomed to these positions than Sassuolo. It’s not too unusual for finesse teams that had bigger objectives in mind to fail to make the switch once dragged into the mud. Either the right boss shepherds them through that, or they flounder. Instead, the Zebrette have been around this area of the standings for a few years, also due to a lack of ambition by the ownership.

The three gaffers that alternated on their bench are young-ish and have similar ideas. Perhaps they should have brought in a veteran just to try something different a month ago. It almost seems they felt like they could succeed just by inertia based on their past, but Serie A is lethal when you get complacent. Moreover, it appears that the scheme is mandated from above. Andrea Sottil got the boot, a little undeservedly, after testing different things. The roster is built for that, but that doesn’t mean it should be set in stone.

They still control their own destiny but wasted several opportunities to be in better shape going into the season finale. All in all, they are lucky to even be in this spot considering last week’s game, although the PK was a correct call.

Injuries have been a big reason for their relative demise, and they should have done more in January. They have never had Gerard Deulofeu, Keinan Davis and Brenner missed most of the campaign, Jaka Bijol sat out three months midway through the season, while Sandri Lovric and Florian Thauvin got hurt late. Those were the biggest blows as they lost two technical leaders in one fell swoop. Roberto Pereyra has also been very banged up lately. That’s a lot of playmaking out of the window.

Due to those issues, other players have had to take on larger roles than expected and weren’t fully ready for them. It’s a minor miracle Lazar Samardzic has had a somewhat decent season following his transfer sagas. Lorenzo Lucca has been solid in his maiden Serie A season but isn’t yet a 20-goal striker. Their defense was totally exposed without Bijol for several matches.

Cannavaro has introduced one minor tweak, as their formation is more of a 3-4-2-1 than a 3-5-2, which frees up the Serb talent, who has indeed come through. That should serve as an indication to the team that will finally get him this summer, even though he rounded out his game while starring as a box-to-box. The rest is pretty standard, with two fairly dynamic wingbacks providing pace and sending in crosses for their big reference point up front.

Rather than technical, as their roster is better than the two sides they are competing with and a couple more than have already prolonged their Serie A stay, their shortcomings are more connected to attitude and intangibles. They have never displayed the fierce determination that often allows sides to hide their defects, trusting the process and riding the belief that things will eventually go their way too much. A match with all the marbles on the line is the right occasion to have the eye of the tiger.

Expected XI (3-4-2-1): Okoye; Perez, Bijol, Kristensen; Ehizibue, Walace, Payero, Kamara; Samardzic, Pereyra; Lucca. 

Doubts:  Pereyra/Brenner, Lucca/Davis. 

Injury report: Thauvin, Pereyra (thigh injuries) – Probable. 

Lovric, Success, Silvestri (thigh injuries), Deulofeu, Ebosse (ACL tears) – OUT. 



Draw – Under 2.5 Goals

Enrico Passarella

Contributor for @footitalia1 | Serie A | News, Transfers, Betting |