Insight, form and news ahead of Sunday's clash between Udinese and Hellas Verona.
#1. Head to Head. When the two sides met at the Bentegodi back in September, it finished 0-0, with the home side unable to break down a determined Udinese rearguard. The highlight of the game was a spectacular save by Musso that kept out a Stepinski header from point blank range.
#2. The form book. Hellas Verona go into this match unbeaten in 8 games, a run of form that sees them occupy the coveted Europa league qualification spot. On 25 points, Udinese are just 4 points above the relegation zone and have lost to Milan, Parma and Inter in recent weeks, before drawing with Brescia last Sunday. Notwithstanding their current position in the League, Udinese are a direct and physical team who will ask some serious questions of an in form Verona defence.
#3. On the march with the Hellas Army. Over 1500 Verona fans have already bought tickets for the Sunday lunchtime fixture. On the pitch, expect to see a very similar looking line-up to the side which overcame Juventus on Saturday night, with Borini starting up front.
#4. Udinese. Although Udinese has always been a club with modest means, it counts amongst its legends iconic figures such as Oliver Bierhoff (Serie A capocannoniere in the 1997-98 season), Zico (57 goals in 79 appearances) and, of course, Antonio Di Natale, one of Serie A's most prolific ever goal-scorers, with 209 goals. While not yet accorded legendary status, Udinese's talismanic striker and captain Kevin Lasagna is always a threat.
#5. A blueprint for modernisation? In the summer of 2013, Udinese transformed their stadium, the Dacia Arena, removing the athletics track and demolishing three sides of the stadium, rebuilding them closer to the pitch. In doing so they reduced the stadiums capacity from from 41,000 to around 25,000. At a cost of around €50m, the work was completed during the summer without Udinese having to move any of their home games to other stadia. A blueprint for modernising an old Italian stadium while retaining its original character, Verona would do well to look at Udinese when developing its own plans for upgrading the Bentegodi!