Verona vs Empoli Preview:
Possible starting lineups:
Montipo; Ceccherini, Cabal, Hien; Terracciano, Tameze, Sulemana, Depaoli; Ngonge, Verdi; Djuric
Vicario; Ebuehi, Ismajli, Luperto, Cacace; Haas, Grassi; Akpa Akpro, Fazzini, Cambiaghi; Caputo
Hellas Verona welcome the in-form Empoli to the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi in the penultimate round of Serie A. Marco Zaffaroni's men are in the drop zone and the situation looks almost critical. They are deeply involved into the relegation battle and this match is crucial. The actual form is poor, Empoli have suffered defeats on the last two matches. First they were beaten by Torino, while last weekend lost 3:1 at Atalanta. Zaffaroni is well aware that another defeat will mean "Adio" to Serie A. He has some additional worries as goalscorer Darko Lazovic suffered a thigh injury in the second half of the match against Atalanta. Most probably he will miss the rest of the season. His absence is a big handicap for Verona, he is the club second-best scorer with four goals. Lazovic also has four assists to his name. You realize how important player he is. Five other remain sidelined - Ondrej Duda (ACL), Kevin Lasagna (muscle), Josh Doig (muscle), Pawel Dawidowicz (hamstring) and Thomas Henry (knee).
Empoli are on the 14th place with 42 points and they are in good form. Three victories and one draw were enough to avoid any relegation worries. Furthermore, one of these victories was obtain against Juventus last weekend. I believe even the most faithful fans didn't expect a 4:1 win against the most powerful club in Italy. However, coach Paolo Zanetti has big injury and suspension worries ahead of this fixture. Fabiano Parisi and Filippo Bandinelli picked up their 10th yellow cards of the season against Juventus last weekend and will serve an one-match ban. Parisi is almost irreplaceable in defense, he played 33 of the possible 36 matches in Serie A and scored two goals. The same could be said for Bandinelli. The midfielder has played 34 league matches and also scored two goals. In addition, midfielder Tommaso Baldanzi, who scored in the reverse fixture, is on international duty with Italy at U-20 World Cup. Three players - Koni De Winter (knee), Razvan Marin (calf) and Sebastian Walukiewicz (muscle) - are still out injured.
Verona vs Empoli Prediction:
I think Verona will win here. There are two reasons for my pick. First is connect with the motivation. While Verona are fighting for survival, Empoli have nothing to play for, except pride. Second reason is connect with the guests. Coach Zanetti has lot of issues. Two players are suspended, one on international duty, few injured. This is an ideal opportunity for Verona.
Verona vs Empoli Pick:
Verona to win @ 1.70 with Pinnacle