3️⃣ reasons not to miss Udinese-Empoli on Wednesday | OneFootball

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Padraig Whelan·4 January 2023

3️⃣ reasons not to miss Udinese-Empoli on Wednesday

Article image:3️⃣ reasons not to miss Udinese-Empoli on Wednesday

For users in the UK and Ireland, OneFootball is the place to watch Serie A this season, with one live match streaming for free each week, plus goals as they go in and highlights from all 380 games.

At last! After almost six weeks without Serie A action, it returns with a bang on Wednesday with a packed slate of fixtures.

Among them is Udinese’s clash with Empoli and we look at why it is a game you must watch.

Your calcio fix

Quite simply the main reason to tune in for this one is to satisfy your Serie A fix after so long without it.

Never before (pandemics aside) has there been such a lengthy mid-season break in Italy’s top flight just as things were getting going.

It has been 53 days since Serie A signed off for the World Cup with Juventus’ resounding 3-0 win over Lazio.

We’d take anything just to enjoy some action from the peninsula again but, fortunately, there are other reasons why this fixture is so enticing …

Udinese’s assist aces

Only one team in Serie A had three players contribute at least eight assists throughout the calendar year of 2022.

It wasn’t Milan, Inter, Napoli, Juventus, Roma, Lazio or Atalanta.

In fact, that honour went to Udinese and it won’t be a surprise to those who watch the Zebrette, who excitingly have the trio at their disposal as they aim to start the new year in a similar vein.

The players in question are Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra, who each registered nine assists, and Isaac Success, who was one behind with eight.

All fit and available for this one. Let the supply line start as they mean to go on.

Return of the king

Empoli striker Francesco ‘Ciccio’ Caputo is one of the most interesting figures in Italian football.

He rose through the divisions and did things the hard way to reach the top table and performed so well against the odds when getting there that he even earned himself two national team caps (scoring once).

At Sassuolo, he caught the attention not only with his goals but with his famous sign during lockdown urging everyone to ‘stay at home, everything will be fine’ and brews his own wine as well as gin and beer.

And he is now back at Empoli again, returning to the club where he enjoyed his greatest success with 42 goals in 79 appearances across Serie B and Serie A from 2017 to 2019.

That was the form which catapulted him into the national consciousness and returned on New Year’s Eve on an initial loan deal from Sampdoria, where things haven’t worked out this season.

The 35-year-old is back where he feels most comfortable and his goals could be crucial in easing Empoli away from relegation concerns. Will he start in style on his second debut?