Verona play host to Empoli at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday as they look to get a result towards their battle to survive in Serie A.
After picking up just one win in their last five matches, Verona currently occupy a relegation spot. Back-to-back defeats against Torino and Atalanta have marred their survival attempts but they still have Spezia and Lecce in their sights as we head towards the final two matches of Italian top flight action for the season.
A clash against Empoli seems the most likely for them to pick up enough points to stay up since the visitors are already safe and don’t have much else to play for. The Gialloblu will look to last month as inspiration as they suffered just one defeat from five in April, even drawing away to newly-crowned champions Napoli.
However, it certainly won’t be easy against an Empoli side who have won three out of their last four matches and recorded an emphatic 4-1 victory over Juventus last time out. Nonetheless, the Azzurri have been poor on their travels and have failed to win in any of their previous eight away games, with their last victory on the road coming back in January.
Successive 1-1 draws between Verona and Empoli has been the outcome of their last two clashes, both played in Florence. However, the Azzurri did record a 4-3 triumph in their last visit to Verona. The hosts will have to envision a repeat of their 2021 display as they recorded a 2-1 win at home in what was their last victory over Empoli.
Goals from Simone Verdi helped the home side to points in their good run of form in April but he has failed to score since, coinciding with the club’s drop in form. Manager Marco Zaffaroni won’t be able to turn to midfielder Darko Lazovic for this one, who has seven goal contributions in the league so far this term, since he is dealing with a muscle injury.
Veteran forward Francesco Caputo has come into form as we head into the match here, hitting the back of the net three times in his last three matches, including a brace against the Bianconeri last time out. Rising star Nicolo Cambiaghi is also a danger and has three goals in his last five games.
Ondrej Duda and Thomas Henry will be unavailable for Gialloblu as they continue in their recoveries from long-term injury. Pawel Dawidowicz, Josh Doig and Kevin Lasagna also remain in doubt due to injury.
The visitors will be without Filippo Bandinelli and Fabiano Parisi due to suspension. Young playmaker Tommaso Baldanzi is also unavailable since he is away with Italy at the U-20 World Cup. Sebastian Walukiewicz, Razvan Marin and Koni De Winter will be on the sidelines as they remain injured.
UK fans can watch the Serie A action live on the BT Sport app.
Expert Insight: Empoli are full of confidence at the moment, particularly after their impressive display against Juve. Verona have been poor of late and so victory doesn't appear too likely, however, the visitors' dismal away record hands the hosts some hope. We could see a score draw in this one.