A real test for Hellas Verona at the Bentegodi this evening against a formidable Roma team placed fifth in the championship
The Roman’s arrive in Verona on the back of back-to-back 3-0 victories (in Istanbul on Thursday evening and at Brescia last Sunday).
Whilst Verona will take much confidence from last week's victory against Fiorentina, this Roma side are an altogether more formidable adversary.
The two sides have met on 56 previous occasions, with the Gialloblù winning just 9 encounters (19 draws and 28 victories for the Giallorossi). The last time Verona caused an upset against the Romans was in October 1996 (a young Francesco Totti on the pitch tat day)! The last time they faced each other at the Bentegodi was in February 2018, when an early goal by Ünder was all the separated the teams. The current Verona side, though, is completely unrecognisable from Pecchia’s squad that lost to Rome that day, and there’s a mood of quiet confidence in the city, with many fans and commentators believing that this could be the moment for Verona to claim a Big scalp.
Influential Portuguese captain Miguel Veloso returns to the squad after missing out against Inter and Fiorentina through injury and will almost certainly start in midfield. In defence, young Max Kumbulla is still carrying an injury and is not named in the squad. Up front Di Carmine seems likely to start, having scored the decisive goal against Fiorentina, with Stepinski and Salcedo waiting in the wings.
For Roma, Fonseca is without his young midfield sensation Nicolò Zaniolo who is suspended, so the Turk Ünder should return to the starting eleven. Pellegrini, Kluivert and Dzeko provide a potent attacking trident. In defence, the familiar face of a revitalized Chris Smalling, who has earned respect and plaudits since arriving in Rome on loan in the summer.
Despite the late Sunday kick-off, tickets sales have been brisk this week and upwards of 16,000 are expected at the Bentegodi this evening.
Hopefully, we'll have something special to celebrate!