Our prediction for this Serie A match:
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi will host Saturday’s football game between Verona and Empoli, the two relegation-threatened sides. The Mastini are eager to move away from bottom three and they are likely to fight tooth and nail against the Azzurri. France forward Thomas Henry is pushing for a rare start after scoring as a substitute in a 2-1 loss to Inter, while Serbia wing-back Darko Lazovic is banned for the match.
The visitors, meanwhile, experienced all sorts of problems at the back in a 3-0 loss to Milan and given Verona’s fine performance in the unlucky defeat to Inter, home win should definitely be considered. As for the away side, defender Tyronne Ebuehi has joined the likes of Simone Bastoni, Gabriele Guarino, and Giuseppe Pezzella in the recovery room. Filippo Ranocchia is widely expected to replace Ebuehi in the starting line-up. New Zealand international Liberato Cacace is back from suspension.
Highlighted Player (Mattia Destro):
Mattia Destro started his youth career at Ascoli, but in 2005 he moved to Inter. The Italian attacker, though, made his debut in the Serie A with Genoa in the 2010/2011 season. He scored 2 goals in 16 appearances for the Rossoblu and at the end of the season he signed a deal with Siena. Destro netted 12 goals for Siena in 30 league appearances for the club and on 30 July, 2012 he joined fellow Serie A team Roma for a fee of €8.5 million.
The Italian footballer made his debut for the capital club on 2 September, 2012 in a 3-1 victory over Inter. Destro scored 24 goals for Roma between 2012 and 2015 and after ending his loan spell with Milan he joined Bologna on 20 August, 2015.
Speaking of his international career, the Bologna forward has 15 caps for Italy U21 and he made his debut for the senior team on 15 August, 2012 against England at Wembley Stadium. He made Italy’s 2014 provisional FIFA World Cup squad, but he eventually failed to make the final roster.
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.