Gil Vicente vs Estoril News, Stats and Prediction

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Having picked up an unexpected point and extended their unbeaten run to three games last weekend, Salernitana welcome Bologna to Stadio Arechi on Saturday.

While the hosts managed to hold mighty Milan, their visitors finally posted a first Serie A success of the year on Monday, and will now seek to replicate their win in the reverse fixture back on the opening day.

Though still adrift at the bottom of the table, Salernitana’s improved form has engendered hope of a great escape in the southern city of Salerno, as the club’s recent turnover of players and management starts to pay off.

New head coach Davide Nicola – a specialist at saving sides bound for Serie B, having kept up both Genoa and boyhood club Torino in recent times – was installed before the visit of league leaders Milan last weekend, but would hardly have expected to stop the Rossoneri leaving with all three points.

Nevertheless, though their visitors took the lead inside five minutes, the Granata then turned the game on its head to lead through goals from front pair Federico Bonazzoli and Milan Djuric heading into the final 15 minutes. Though Ante Rebic then levelled the match from long range, Salernitana picked up a third successive point and have not lost since January.

That represents some achievement for a side which had been beaten in 17 of their 26 top-flight outings since promotion, and have still won just once at Stadio Arechi this season.

Even so, the Campanian club’s first Serie A season in 23 years has taken a turn for the better since a tumultuous off-field spell around the turn of the year, and they have picked up six points from their six fixtures in 2022.

They have also beaten Bologna on both of their next opponents’ previous top-flight visits and will be increasingly confident of upholding that record this weekend.

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic on January 17, 2022© Reuters

Having failed to score in Serie A since November’s reverse fixture, Bologna striker Marko Arnautovic broke his long scoring drought with a double strike in Monday’s 2-1 win against Spezia – including the late winner with a powerful downward header.

Since December, Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side had lost the most matches of any Serie A side; having won only once in nine league fixtures after a 3-0 loss to Lazio the previous weekend.

Indeed, the Rossoblu had found the net just twice in their previous five outings, so Arnautovic’s return to form will be a great relief for the Emilian outfit, who currently sit 12th in the standings – nine points above the drop zone, but adrift of the European places to which they ambitiously aspired in the autumn.

While goals have been scarce of late, it has been Bologna’s defensive deficiencies which have undermined a positive start to the campaign, and having conceded 41 league goals, Mihajlovic will want his team to tighten up if they are to return to the top half of the table.

Several months ago, the win that started off their season on a high note came at Salernitana’s expense, as Arnautovic netted the second equaliser in a dramatic 3-2 victory at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, and they will inevitably be keen to do the double over the southerners on Saturday.

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