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May 17, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Faraoni (2'), Kalinic (53')
Gunter (41'), Barak (49'), Kalinic (73')
FT(HT: 1-1)
De Silvestri (32'), Palacio (82')
Dijks (52'), Schouten (56'), Soriano (69')

Preview: Hellas Verona vs. Bologna - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Hellas Verona vs. Bologna - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's Serie A clash between Hellas Verona and Bologna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

In danger of letting their previously positive campaign conclude with a slump, Hellas Verona host fellow mid-table outfit Bologna at Stadio Bentegodi on Monday.

While the home side have picked up just two points from their last seven games, their Emilian visitors are also winless in five since effectively securing Serie A survival last month.

Match preview

Delivering his damning insight into Verona's ongoing nosedive last week, coach Ivan Juric claimed that his side lacks "character, desire and hunger" and that "we can play as pretty as we want, but we are still going to be losers."

That scathing verdict came in the aftermath of a midweek defeat to previously rock-bottom Crotone, meaning that Hellas now have just one win in their last 11 matches and could feasibly lose their top-half status in the final two rounds.

Verona do remain just inside the top 10 - just three points clear of Udinese and Monday's opponents Bologna - but are staggering to the finish line, as after posting a tally of 30 points for the first half of the season, they have added only a further 13 after the halfway stage.

Primarily, their problems have been in the final third, as chief creator Mattia Zaccagni's superb first half of the campaign - featuring five goals, five assists and numerous key passes - dissolved into a total loss of form in 2021: quietening speculation that he was set for an Azzurri place at Euro 2020 and would move on to one of Italy's top clubs.

Ever-demanding, Juric's ambitions have also been quelled by a severe shortage of goals from his strikers, as both Nikola Kalinic and Kevin Lasagna have barely registered on the scoresheet.

Nonetheless, a club with modest aims - a reality which often frustrates their Croatian coach, who has been linked with a move higher up the food chain this summer - finished ninth in 2019-20 and can still repeat that result by finishing with a flourish in the final days of the season.

They will, though, have to overcome a winless streak at the Bentegodi stretching back to February's victory against now-relegated Parma, if that is to remain a possibility.

With just a three point gap between Bologna and their rivals for a top-half place on Monday - despite their current travails in the league - the Rossoblu travel to Veneto well aware that recent precedent is very much in their favour.

In fact, the last time Bologna lost to Verona in Serie A was back in April 2016 (there have since been three wins for the Emilians and two draws) and they are also unbeaten in their last five away games against the Gialloblu.

Sinisa Mihajlovic will undoubtedly aim to motivate his troops by targeting only a second top-ten finish in the last nine seasons - the first of which came when the Serbian coach started his second spell as boss in early 2019; guiding Bologna away from relegation danger and into 10th by the season's end.

However, only one win in their last eight matches has seen Mihajlovic's men sink slowly down the standings, with a 2-0 reverse at home to Genoa in midweek their latest failure. Results have been even worse on the road, as they have only won three of their last 22 away games dating back to last term.

On Monday evening, then, the Felsinei will hope to pull out a performance similar to that produced versus Fiorentina at the start of the month - where veteran striker Rodrigo Palacio netted a hat-trick and Azzurrini starlet Emanuel Vignato laid on each of his goals.

Though Bologna also conceded three times on that occasion, such attacking thrust will be required to achieve a positive end to their 2020-21 campaign, as after they return from Verona, they host recently-deposed champions Juventus on the final day.

Hellas Verona Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Bologna Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • L

Team News

Verona captain Miguel Veloso made his return from neck surgery in midweek and remained on the bench throughout the Crotone defeat, but could now feature from the start. Fellow midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, however, continues to struggle with a thigh issue, so will be absent again on Monday.

Marco Benassi is also a doubt due to a calf strain, but Ivan Juric has no other major injury concerns to consider, as personnel changes could instead target some of his persistent underperformers.

Back-up striker Eddie Salcedo will hope to get the nod, then, ahead of Nikola Kalinic - who has not hit the net since January - and misfiring January buy Kevin Lasagna.

In the last week, promising goalkeeper Ivor Pandur started his Serie A career with two successive appearances ahead of regular first-choice Marco Silvestri, who may now return as the Gialloblu's last line of defence.

Apart from longer-term absentees Nicolas Dominguez, Federico Santander and Aaron Hickey, Bologna could travel at almost full-strength, as veteran midfielder Gary Medel is set to make his return from a calf strain and Matthias Svanberg hopes to overcome a shoulder injury to make Monday's squad.

Therefore, if Svanberg is passed fit, the Rossoblu may name an unchanged XI at the Bentegodi.

Teenage right-back Wisdom Amey became the youngest player in Serie A history against Genoa on Wednesday, after appearing as a substitute; making his top-flight debut aged only 15 years and 274 days. Sinisa Mihajlovic also offered 16-year-old midfielder Kacper Urbanski an opportunity late on, and the pair could be involved again versus Verona.

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Ceccherini, Magnani, Dimarco; Faraoni, Tameze, Ilic, Lazovic; Zaccagni, Barak; Lasagna

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Tomiyasu, Soumaoro, Danilo, Dijks; Schouten, Svanberg; Orsolini, Soriano, Barrow; Palacio

We say: Hellas Verona 1-2 Bologna

Two similarly struggling sides clash in the final game of Serie A's penultimate round, with neither team looking assured in front of goal this term.

As Verona supremo Ivan Juric seems to be signing his own departure decree with each explosive statement he issues to the press, Bologna's greater spirit and cohesion can see them edge a tight encounter and pull level with their hosts in the standings.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:curl

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Serie A Table
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420
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