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While Sinisa Mihajlovic departed Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in midweek, closing his second spell at the club, the Rossoblu’s opponents arrive in Emilia-Romagna following a six-game winless run.

Match preview

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic on August 27, 2022© Reuters

After being held to a 2-2 draw by Spezia last week, Bologna had failed to win any of their first five Serie A fixtures of a season for the first time since 2013, and club owner Joey Saputo felt he had no option but to show Sinisa Mihajlovic the door at Dall’Ara.

Dismissed on Tuesday – following a run featuring two losses and three draws – the Serbian coach has been undergoing treatment for leukaemia in recent months, and having also been in charge at the Emilian club before, his exit drew an emotional response.

With a win to open the season – against Cosenza in the Coppa Italia – Bologna have actually only been beaten by two of Mihajlovic’s former clubs: Milan and Lazio.

Nonetheless, as the Felsinei’s fans await the appointment of a new manager – Thiago Motta is apparently poised to step into the hotseat – life moves on, and their team now tackle a side they have failed to defeat in each of their last 16 attempts.

Losing 10 times in the process, Bologna have failed to even find the net on 12 of those occasions, and that same issue has been at the root of their lowly points total to date – only Marko Arnautovic has scored in the league this term, so his teammates must start chipping in too.

Fiorentina boss Vincenzo Italiano on September 8, 2022© Reuters

Despite growing expectations, following an impressive 2021-22 campaign, Fiorentina kick off Sunday’s clash with just a three-point advantage over Bologna in the Serie A standings.

Vincenzo Italiano‘s men have dried up in front of goal since beating newly-promoted Cremonese 3-2 on the opening day, and a total of five draws from their last six games in all competitions has caused concern among the Viola’s fans.

Ahead of their trip to Dall’Ara, Fiorentina have failed to score in three of their last four away matches – as many goalless games as in their previous 12 – and they were also held to a 1-1 home draw by Latvian outfit RFS in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.

They did, though, manage to take a point off Juventus last weekend, when Christian Kouame equalised Arkadiusz Milik‘s early opener; scoring the club’s first goal in over 400 minutes of play.

During Italiano’s first year in charge, Fiorentina’s home record was second only to Milan’s, but they tended to struggle when on the road – and they now seek their first away win of the new season at the fourth attempt.

Team News

Bologna's Musa Barrow celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on October 23, 2021© Reuters

With primavera coach Luca Vigiani set to stand in as caretaker coach for Sunday’s game before Thiago Motta takes up the reins, Bologna are likely to field a familiar lineup despite Sinisa Mihajlovic’s sudden departure.

Vigiani will be without the services of the injured Adama Soumaoro, so Kevin Bonifazi and recent loan signing Stefan Posch will compete to take the Frenchman’s place in the hosts’ back three.

Up front, Nicola Sansone is expected to miss out in the contest to support Marko Arnautovic, who is now the first Bologna player to have scored each of the club’s first five Serie A goals in a season: Riccardo Orsolini and Musa Barrow are set to contest that spot instead.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina are expected to reshuffle their resources once again, amid a hectic schedule at home and abroad – they head to Istanbul next week, before hosting Verona.

The visitors will have Brazilian defender Igor back at their disposal following a one-match European suspension served in midweek, and he should replace Luca Ranieri at the heart of their back four. Luka Jovic is also likely to return up front.

Vincenzo Italiano hopes to have Nicolas Gonzalez back from injury, but midfield duo Gaetano Castrovilli and Giacomo Bonaventura remain sidelined, while Alfred Duncan is still a doubt.

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Posch, Medel, Lucumi; De Silvestri, Dominguez, Schouten, Soriano, Lykogiannis; Orsolini, Arnautovic

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Terracciano; Dodo, Martinez Quarta, Igor, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Amrabat, Barak; Kouame, Jovic, Sottil

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