Having narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing 10 points behind their forthcoming opponents in the table, Salernitana play host to Empoli in Serie A on Monday.
After enduring 23 seasons away from Italy’s top flight, Salernitana escaped instant return to Serie B despite being beaten 4-0 at home to Udinese on the final day of last season.
Cagliari’s goalless draw away to Venezia meant that they were relegated instead, potentially allowing Davide Nicola a full season to stamp his mark at Salernitana having made a positive impact after taking over in February earlier this year.
Having picked up five points from their opening four games this season, they look set to be competitive again at the very least, after beating potential relegation rivals Sampdoria 4-0 at Stadio Arechi last weekend, with that victory in between draws against Udinese and Bologna.
Meanwhile, Empoli earned promotion alongside Salernitana two seasons ago, although they have more experience at this level having spent four out of five seasons competiting in Serie A between 2014 and 2019.
Last season’s points tally of 41 was an impressive achievement for a newly-promoted team, despite the board having made the curious decision of not extending head coach Aurelio Andreazzoli’s contract, with him departing in summer to draw a close to his third spell at the club.
Former Venezia manager Paolo Zanetti has been the replacement for Andreazzoli, with age perhaps one of the major reasons as he is almost 30 years younger than his predecessor. Having also spent three years at Empoli during his playing career, Zanetti has an established affinity with the fans.
However, the 39-year-old remains winless from his side’s opening four matches, having overseen three consecutive draws after the opening day defeat to Spezia. He will desperately be hoping to punch above his weight in Salerno on Monday.
Salernitana vs Empoli head to head
The two teams have previously met on 22 occasions across all competitions, where Salernitana have claimed six victories while Empoli have won 10, and they have drawn in six. Salernitana have scored 25 goals and conceded 39. In their last five meetings, Empoli have won three, Salernitana one with one draw.
Salernitana 2-4 Empoli 24/07/20
Empoli 5-0 Salernitana 17/01/21
Salernitana 2-0 Empoli 07/05/21
Salernitana 2-4 Empoli 23/10/21
Empoli 1-1 Salernitana 14/05/22
Salernitana latest home form
Salernitana have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, having lost just two of their six most recent matches. They managed to defeat Sampdoria 4-0 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored seven goals and conceded four.
Salernitana 2-0 Wieczysta Krakow 20/07/22
Salernitana 1-1 Galatasaray 27/07/22
Salernitana 0-2 Parma 07/08/22
Salernitana 0-1 Roma 14/08/22
Salernitana 4-0 Sampdoria 28/08/22
Salernitana latest away form
Salernitana have recently been on a good run of form on the road, having been unbeaten in their seven most recent matches. They played out a 1-1 draw with Bologna in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored five goals and also conceded five.
Atalanta 1-1 Salernitana 02/05/22
Empoli 1-1 Salernitana 14/05/22
Hoffenheim 2-2 Salernitana 16/07/22
Udinese 0-0 Salernitana 20/08/22
Bologna 1-1 Salernitana 01/09/22
Empoli latest home form
Empoli have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, having lost just one of their seven most recent matches. They drew 1-1 with Hellas Verona in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored seven goals and conceded four.
Empoli 3-0 Seravezza 19/07/22
Empoli 2-1 Pafos 28/07/22
Empoli 1-2(E) SPAL 06/08/22
Empoli 0-0 Fiorentina 21/08/22
Empoli 1-1 Verona 31/08/22
Empoli latest away form
Empoli have recently been on a relatively good run of form on the road, having lost just one of their four most recent matches. They drew 1-1 with Leece in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored five goals and conceded six.
Inter Milan 4-2 Empoli 06/05/22
Atalanta 0-1 Empoli 21/05/22
Trabzonspor 0-1 Empoli 25/07/22
Spezia 1-0 Empoli 14/08/22
Lecce 1-1 Empoli 28/08/22
Salernitana will take to the pitch without Ivan Radovanovic, Franck Ribery, Matteo Lovato and Emil Bohinen due to injury.
Having played away from home on Thursday, Nicola is likely to make a few changes, with Erik Botheim and Antonio Candreva potentially the likeliest candidates to come into the starting XI.
Empoli will make the trip without Lorenzo Tonelli and Nicolo Cambiaghi due to injury, while Razvan Marin is likely to return to the side to freshen up the central midfield area.
Tommaso Baldanzi came off with a muscle injury after scoring in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw against Verona, and remains a doubt.
Prediction and Odds
Salernitana have made a strong start to the season and will fancy themselves to come out on top on Monday, particularly with the home advantage on their side.
The visitors are yet to get their campaign going under the new manager and it may take time for Zanetti to implement his ideas at the club.
Odds: 1 2.22 X 2.05 2 2.30
Salernitana 1-0 Empoli
Salernitana 2-0 Empoli
Salernitana 2-1 Empoli
Salernitana 0-0 Empoli
Salernitana 1-1 Empoli