Udinese vs Lazio Preview and Prediction – Serie A Round 26

Sunday’s Serie A action closes out at the Dacia Arena is out-of-sorts Udinese take on European contenders Lazio in a high-stake encounter. The home side will pray fatigue catches up with the Biancocelesti as they look to steer themselves away from a dreaded 16th place. 

Despite opening the scoring in their midweek Europa League match against Porto, Lazio lost the first leg of their last-32 tie 2-1, giving themselves a mountain to climb in the return fixture. However, Maurizio Sarri’s men have been nothing short of outstanding in Serie A of late. 

While the visitors head into proceedings unbeaten in their last four league games (W3, D1), Udinese are dealing with a rough patch. A return of one win from five Serie A outings in 2022 (D1, L3) has condemned the Friulians to 16th place. They are only three points clear of 18th-placed Cagliari.

Udinese Form Guide 

A humiliating 4-0 defeat at Hellas Verona last time out saw Udinese fail to get on the scoresheet for the fourth time across their last five outings in all competitions. But after scoring 2+ goals in three of their previous five Serie A home matches, they should feel pretty confident about ending that streak here. 

What’s more, the Friulians have suffered just one defeat in their last seven Serie A games at the Dacia Arena (W2, D4). If Udinese are to build upon that record, they will have to avoid a slow start, having won none out of 11 top-flight fixtures when conceding first this season (D3, L8). 

Defying the odds has not been Udinese strong suit this term by any stretch of the imagination. Gabriele Cioffi’s men have won just one of their six Serie A home fixtures as pre-match outsiders (D2, L3). So, this upcoming tussle with Lazio could spell more trouble for Udinese’s hopes of ensuring top-flight survival come May. 

Lazio Form Guide 

Since losing 2-1 at Inter in early January, Lazio have racked up three victories in their last four Serie A matches (D1), all of which yielded the same 3-0 scoreline. Having also kept a clean sheet in each of those four fixtures, the Biancocelesti are entertaining the prospect of going five successive league games without conceding for the first time since February 2007.

Sarri’s men will be confident of achieving that feat after going unbeaten in their last eight Serie A visits to Udinese (W6, D2), letting in an average of 0.5 goals per game in that period. However, an action-packed 4-4 draw in the reverse fixture in December 2021 should issue a warning to Lazio not to allow complacency to get in their way. 

A strong start could be of the utmost importance for Lazio, as they’ve only won one out of seven Serie A away matches when conceding the opening goal this season (D1, L5). Since they’ve found the net within 15 minutes of play in a league second-high five of their 12 Serie A trips this season, that should not be a problem.

Udinese vs Lazio Prediction

Given the importance of this match-up for both sides, we expect a cagey, low-scoring affair. Adding to this sentiment, their most recent encounter in the Coppa Italia saw Lazio progress via Ciro Immobile’s extra-time strike, with the regulation time yielding a scoreless draw.