Udinese were unable to hold on to a 1-0 lead at home to Inter on their return to action after the winter break as they went on to lose 2-1, though they nonetheless remain in 10th, seven places better off than they managed last term. Roma, meanwhile, continued their excellent form as they won 1-0 at Genoa, their fifth victory in their last six as they’re just four points behind Juve, though Allegri’s side do have a game in hand.
Udinese have won four of their 10 home games so far, but each of those victories have come against teams currently in the bottom-six, while they’ve lost all three of their home games against top-seven teams so far. What’s more, they’ve lost a key player in central midfielder Emmanuel Badu to the African Cup of Nations. Badu’s started 40 games since the start of last term and Udinese have a PPG of 1.2 in these, but this drops to 1.0 in the 16 games he missed in that period. They’ve managed wins over strugglers Crotone, Bologna, Palermo and Pescara in his absence this term, but they were winless in the 10 he missed prior to that.
Roma have also lost Mohamed Salah to the tournament, but they have greater strength in depth and having already won at Lazio and Napoli this term, they should have too much for Udinese. What’s more, they’ve won their last seven meetings with Udinese since 2013/14, with each of the victories at the Stadio Friuli by just a single goal. Indeed, with Salah out their attack could lack some potency and as a result we’re backing only a narrow victory for Luciano Spalletti’s side.