13.01.2016 10:00 - in: Serie A S

      Zebrette on home soil

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      With Udinese picking up at home in recent months, Juventus.com looks at the Zebrette’s record this season at the Stadio Friuli
      The season in brief

      One could make a case that Udinese’s first half of the season be viewed in two parts. Following their last-gasp opening day triumph at Juventus Stadium, Stefano Colantuono’s men would continue to fare better on their travels than at the Stadio Friuli, where defeats to Palermo, Empoli and Milan, followed by a draw with Genoa, meant that they took just one point from a possible 12 between August and October.

      Matchday Nine, however, marked the beginning of a new trend to their campaign, with a 1-0 success over Frosinone sparking a much-improved return of 10 points from their last five fixtures in front of their own supporters.

      Indeed, the fact that Udinese have the fifth worst home record in the league this term is almost entirely down to their early struggles. Were the season to have started the same weekend as that win over the Flying Donkeys, the team from north-east Italy would boast the fifth best record, trailing only Juve, Napoli, Milan and Roma.

      Udinese have the fifth worst home record this season.
      However, they boast the fifth best record in front of their own fans since Matchday Nine.

      Meanwhile, away from Udine, the Zebrette may have lost to many of Serie A’s Scudetto challengers in Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina, but they have done well to beat the teams around them in the table, such as Bologna, Chievo and Torino. Less comforting, however, was their 2-1 defeat to lowly Carpi in their most recent outing on Saturday.

      Defence the key

      The reasons behind Udinese’s recent upturn in results at home point to increasingly resolute defensive displays.

      The Frosinone match was the first of a trio of clean sheets at the Stadio Friuli (including a 0-0 with Sassuolo and 1-0 win against Sampdoria) before a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Inter somewhat skewed their figures, leading to a goal difference of -1 over the last five games and -4 overall.

      Francesco Lodi's free-kick against Frosinone triggered a turning-point in his team's Stadio Friuli form.

      Perhaps surprisingly, they have conceded more shots to the opposition since beating Frosinone (61) than beforehand (45). Meanwhile, they won more tackles prior to Matchday Nine (75) than afterwards (53).

      However, they have made up for this by regaining possession more frequently – 303 times compared to 238 previously.

      Goals at a premium

      It’s true to say that Udinese certainly needed to improve defensively, as they continue to find it tough going in the final third.

      Indeed, they maintain the second worst goalscoring record at home both since the start of the season (eight) and over the last five matches (four). Only winless Hellas Verona suffer an inferior record (six and one respectively).

      Their difficulties in finding the target are also reflected by the fact that their leading marksman Cyril Thereau has only netted once this term in Serie A at the Stadio Friuli, in contrast to his five strikes on the road.

      Duvan Zapata has netted twice at home this term.
      Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu joins Zapata on two strikes for the season at the Stadio Friuli.

      Furthermore, his home tally is only marginally bettered by those of Duvan Zapata and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, who are tied at the top of the club’s standings on two goals apiece.

      It ought to be added, however, that the Zebrette have put on a better show in their Coppa Italia encounters played in Udine, getting their supporters off the seats a total six times against Novara and Atalanta before being knocked out last month away to Lazio. 

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