Our prediction for this Serie A match:
After surviving Spezia on Matchday 19, Roma will be looking to keep their Scudetto hopes alive when they welcome Verona at their Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening. The Giallorossi quickly bounced back from the Derby della Capitale defeat, but they need to keep on making progress if they are to win their first league title since 2001. The likes of Zaniolo, Dzeko, and Calafiori are all out of contention with injuries, while both Pedro and Mkhitaryan are rated doubtful.
The Mastini, on the other hand, came from behind to beat Napoli 3-1 in their last league match. Verona have been impressive on home soil this season, but given their anything but good away record, we do not believe that the visitors are capable of spoiling Roma’s party in the “Eternal City”. Magnani is sidelined through suspension, while Benassi, Miguel Veloso, and Vieira remain in the recovery room.
Highlighted Player (Nikola Kalinic):
Nikola Kalinic is a product of Hajduk Split’s youth school. The 187-cm-tall striker scored 32 goals in 59 appearances for Hajduk at senior level and he played for the likes of Pula and Sibenik in Croatia as well. In 2009 he moved to Blackburn Rovers for fee of £6 million.
Nikola Kalinic made his Blackburn Rovers debut against Sunderland on 22 August, 2009 and he scored his first goal for the Riversiders against Peterborough United in the League Cup. After making 44 league appearances for Blackburn Rovers, the Croatian attacker joined Dnipro in 2011 and he played for the Ukrainian outfit until 2015.
Kalinic signed a four-year deal with Fiorentina on 15 August, 2015 and he impressed in the 2015/2016 Serie A campaign, scoring 12 goals in 36 games. The Fiorentina striker made two appearances for Croatia at the 2016 European Championship in France and it has to be noted that he found the net in a 2-1 win over Spain in the group stages of the competition.
Highlighted Team (Verona):
Founded back in 1903, Hellas Verona are a professional football club that compete in the Italian Serie A. The “Mastini” are well known for their yellow and blue jerseys and they welcome their opponents at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi. Hellas Verona share rivalry with Chievo Verona and the two local rivals face each other in the “Derby della Scala”.
The first derby of Verona was played on November 18, 2001, with Hellas Verona emerging triumphant (3-2). In 1985 the Mastini won their first and only Scudetto, with the team finishing the season in top position in the Serie A standings, four points clear of second-placed Torino. The likes of Preben Elkjaer, Giuseppe Calderisi, Hans-Peter Briegel, Pietro Fanna and Antonio Di Gennaro led Hellas Verona to the historical success.
However, the most famous footballer who played for Verona is Romania international Adrian Mutu, who scored 16 goals in 57 appearances in the league for the Stadio Marc’ Antonio Bentegodi outfit. Verona will compete in the Italian top flight in the 2017/2018 season as they finished the 2016/2017 Serie B campaign in second position in the table.