Udinese were pretty unfortunate to lose in Switzerland, but the Zebrette now aim to make things right and get back in contention for a place in the knockout stages with three points from this match. Young Boys hope to escape the bottom of the standings with a good result at Friuli, but they will have to work hard in order to achieve their goal.
Di Natale on fire
Given the major changes in the playing squad that had taken place during off-season, we were not that surprised to see Udinese struggle in the opening exchanges. Francesco Guidolin obviously needed some time to integrate the new players into the squad, while the numerous injury problems certainly did not help. Nonetheless, as the season progressed the Zebrette started raising their game and they are looking very good at the moment. The hectic schedule and selection problems are still preventing the team from showing all they’ve got, but the most important thing is their results are pretty respectable. After taking four points from first two Europa League games, Udinese were beaten in Switzerland, but only after they completely outplayed their opponents. Considering that Francesco Guidolin has since had several important players return to the side and that Antonio Di Natale has been scoring goals for fun, the Friulani look a good bet to win this game.
Maicosuel, Allan, Barreto, Benatia, Pinzi, Pasquale, Muriel and Badu are all unavailable for the Young Boys game, but Dusan Basta has returned into action.
Young Boys remain at rock bottom
The Swiss side did well to make it to Europa League group stages, having eliminated Zimbru, Kalmar and Midtjylland, but they have yet to prove they have what it takes to play at this level. Comfortable defeats to Liverpool and Anzhi saw Young Boys come on the verge of elimination, although the 3-1 victory over Udinese served as a major boost for the team. The manner in which it was achieved, however, cannot give boss Martin Rueda too much reason for optimism, especially as his side are going through a very rough patch at the moment. Young Boys have now won just two of their last nine games in all competitions, while losing five of those, so forgive me for doubting their chances of matching very good Udinese side at their Friuli. The visitors will attempt to frustrate the Zebrette by adopting a defence-minded approach, but that is unlikely to help them avoid defeat in Italy.
With no fresh injuries to report, boss Martin Rueda is likely to stick to the side that won the first match between the two sides.
All media reports suggest that Udinese will take this game very seriously, even if boss Francesco Guidolin could rest a couple of regular starters. With that in mind, there is every chance that the Friulani will see off out-of-sorts Young Boys, with comfortable home win looking on the cards.
Top pick: Home win 1.73 (8/11) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Udinese with -1 handicap 2.88 (17/9) @ SkyBet
Alternative pick 2: Udinese/Udinese 2.80 (9/5) @ 888sport