Preview: Venezia vs Cremonese – predictions, team news, line-ups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Serie B playoff final between Venezia and Cremonese, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Concluding their fight for a place in the Italian elite, Venice And Cremona meet on Sunday at the Stadio Pier Luigi Penzo, for the second leg of the Serie B playoff final.

Having finished higher in the final league standings, even a draw would send the hosts back to Serie A, following a tense 0-0 draw in Thursday’s first leg.

Match Preview

After finishing third and fourth respectively in Serie B, Venezia and Cremonese finally emerged in the playoffs to fight for a place alongside automatically promoted Parma and Como in Serie A next season.

As Cremonese came just behind Venezia, if the clubs’ two-legged final ends tied, they will claim promotion rather than going to extra time or penalties.

Therefore, Cremo were under pressure to make the most of home advantage at the Stadio Zini on Thursday evening, but despite having most of the ball and several more shots on target than their Venetian visitors, they were unable to find the Finnish goalkeeper. Jesse Joronen and had to settle for a goalless draw.

Venezia won 2-1 in April’s league encounter at Penzo, coming from behind to take maximum points, but in Sunday’s second leg they just need to avoid defeat – that would see him return to Serie A for the second time. .

Relegated after one season in the elite in 2022, the Arancioneroverdi beat Palermo in the semi-final of the playoffs by winning both matches, and they are undoubtedly in good shape for the final: Paolo Vanoli‘s men have won six of their last nine matches.

Vanoli was once Antonio ConteHe is the assistant to Italy, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but is now set to lead Venice back to the promised land as a highly-rated head coach; his counterpart, Giovanni Stroppaas for him, he has much more experience at this level.

The Cremonese coach had previously guided Crotone and Monza to promotion from Serie B, and his current side beat Catanzaro in the semi-final, with a 4-1 home win in the second leg after a 2-2 draw at outside four days earlier.

Even though they couldn’t break through on Thursday, the Grigiorossi are still unbeaten in six matches – a run of three wins and three draws – and a year after being relegated from Italy’s top tier, they remain in contention to make a comeback immediate.

The Lombardy club have won half of their 20 away league matches this season – enough to boast the second-best away record in Serie B – so Stroppa will remain confident of adding another promotion to his CV.

A trip to the unique stadium on the edge of the Venetian lagoon has proven grueling for most visitors this season, but given these impressive results on their trips, this should cause no fears for the Lombard club.

Venezia Serie B form:

Cremonese Serie B shape:

Team News

© Reuters

After letting go Francesco Zampano for the first leg – apparently for fear of a suspension, as the winger was one warning away from a suspension – Venezia boss Paolo Vanoli is expected to recall one of his regular starters on Sunday.

While Zampano would play on the left flank, scoring in the semi-final Antonio Candela aligns right; American internationals Gianluca Busio And Tanner Tessmann appears in central midfield.

Once again, Nicolas Pierini is ready to support Serie B’s top scorer Joel Pohjanpalo in front, with the Danish striker Christian Gytkjaer frequently used as an impact substitute during the second half.

Despite 10 players facing suspension due to the accumulation of yellow cards ahead of Thursday’s opener, both teams avoided losing anyone to disciplinary reasons.

Therefore, only Ghana is moving forward Felix Afena-Gyan and Senegalese goalkeeper Mouhamadou Sarr – both injured – will be absent for Cremonese.

As always, Giovanni Stroppa has several candidates to choose from: Massimo Coda has scored 17 times in Serie B this season, but Frank Tsadjout or even a veteran striker Daniel Ciofani could spearhead the visitors’ attack in Venice.

Franco Vazquez expected to support Cremo’s main striker in an advanced midfield role, while the former Venezia winger Dennis Johnsen should start on the bench.

Possible starting lineup in Venezia:
Joronen; Idzes, Svoboda, Sverko; Candela, Lella, Tessmann, Busio, Zampano; Pierini, Pohjanpalo

Cremonese possible starting eleven:
Saro; Antov, Ravanelli, Bianchetti; Zanimacchia, Buonaiuto, Castagnetti, Pickel, Sernicola; Vazquez; Coda

We say: Venezia 2-1 Cremonese (Venezia win 2-1 on aggregate)

Needing just a draw to reach Serie A, Venezia can afford to draw Cremonese and strike clinically on the counter.

Although it will certainly be a close encounter, the hosts have only lost three times at Penzo this season and look to be a tough team to beat.

For data analysis of most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.

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