Livorno hoping to emerge in safety spot

The bottom four all go head-to-head in Serie A this weekend and Livorno fully intend to be the club occupying the last position of safety when the dust settles.

Paulinho of AS Livorno

Domenico Di Carlo's men are currently in 18th place - one place and two points behind Sunday's opponents Bologna - while Catania are ready to drag them down a spot should they get a good result against basement boys Sassuolo.

Livorno were hoping to claim a second straight away win last time out and started well against Sampdoria, a brace from Ibrahim M'Baye giving the Tuscans a two-goal lead heading into half-time.

But Samp hit back to win 4-2 and Livorno boss Di Carlo is therefore demanding his players keep their focus across what promise to be 90 intense minutes against Bologna at the Stadio Armando Picchi.

He told La Repubblica Sport: "We have to produce two repeats of that first half. The team must understand that all 90 minutes need to be played.

"Now we need to work much harder and I want to see more from the team I saw in that first half at Samp.

"Livorno are a club that should be safe by the last day of the season, so we cannot give any of our rivals an inch.

"The objective is to survive and we have to go out and do it."

Midfielder Andrea Luci, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, is Di Carlo's only absentee while Bologna are missing Rolando Bianchi, Michele Pazienza, Francesco Della Rocca and Ibson.

The Rossoblu have kept their heads above water with back-to-back goalless draws against Hellas Verona and Sassuolo but their failure to score in any of their last four games is worrying coach Davide Ballardini.

"It's been a difficult time due to injuries and some players returned in bad shape from international duty," he told the Corriere dello Sport.

"In recent weeks we have found some new defensive solidity, but at the expense of finding the goal.

"It's often the way in the league so we'll have to keep gambling until the very end."

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