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Hellas Verona logo
Serie A | Gameweek 37
May 28, 2023 at 11.30am UK
Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi
Empoli logo

Hellas Verona
1 - 1
Empoli

Gaich (61')
Cabal (10'), Veloso (56'), Gaich (63'), Ceccherini (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Magnani (90+6' og.)

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Hellas Verona and Empoli, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Running out of time to pull off a great escape from the Serie A relegation zone, Hellas Verona welcome an in-form Empoli side to the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi for Sunday's penultimate round of fixtures.

Marco Zaffaroni's men were put to the sword 3-1 by Atalanta BC last weekend, while their visitors subjected Juventus to an embarrassing 4-1 defeat.


Match preview

Hellas Verona coach Marco Zaffaroni on April 15, 2023© Reuters

Few teams have come away from the Gewiss Stadium unscathed during Atalanta's Gian Piero Gasperini era, and it was no different for Hellas Verona last weekend, as La Dea inflicted another damaging blow on the Gialloblu's survival hopes.

Darko Lazovic had Hellas Verona in dreamland with an 11th-minute opener, but Davide Zappacosta appropriately took another 11 minutes to cancel out the Serbian's strike before Mario Pasalic and Rasmus Hojlund turned the game on its head after the break.

Following a brief Easter revival which saw Zaffaroni's side go four games unbeaten, this weekend's hosts have slid down a slippery slope with three defeats from their last four in the top flight to sit 18th in the standings, only ahead of the already-relegated Cremonese and Sampdoria.

The Gialloblu have a one-point gap to make up to Spezia and are three points worse off than Lecce, so it is certainly not mission impossible for Hellas Verona, but defeat this weekend coupled with victories for their two relegation rivals would officially bring their four-year stay in the big time to an end.

A New Year initially brought new hope for Zaffaroni's men at home, as they lost just one of their first eight fixtures at the Marcantonio Bentegodi in 2023, but they have since suffered back-to-back beatings at the hands of Inter Milan (6-0) and Torino (1-0) in front of their own fans, who may lay witness to their side's demotion if results across the land go against them here.

Empoli coach Paolo Zanetti before the match on May 22, 2023© Reuters

Perhaps pre-occupied with thoughts of another impending points deduction, Juventus - the resident crisis club of the top half of the Serie A table - were torn to shreds at Empoli's Carlo Castellani, where Paolo Zanetti's side continued on their upward trajectory in some style.

Two Francesco Caputo strikes either side of a Sebastiano Luperto effort put the game out of reach for Juventus, who did bag a consolation late on through Federico Chiesa, but Roberto Piccoli restored Empoli's sensational three-goal lead in the dying embers.

Having amassed 10 points from 12 on offer during the merry month of May, Empoli have assured themselves of a third straight season of top-flight football as they sit comfortably in 14th place in the rankings, still capable of finishing as high as 12th with another pair of wins to close out the campaign.

However, Empoli's only away game in their four-match unbeaten sequence ended in a 1-1 draw with whipping boys Sampdoria, and Zanetti's men have now failed to win any of their last eight away contests since another one of their giant killings - beating Inter Milan 1-0 at San Siro on January 23.

The last two meetings between Hellas Verona and Empoli have ended in a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw, but the Gialloblu have just one win to boast from their last six meetings with Zanetti's men and should avoid taking a leaf out of Juventus' book if they are to remain alive in the fight for Serie A security.

Hellas Verona Serie A form:

Empoli Serie A form:


Team News

Hellas Verona coach Salvatore Bocchetti with players during the drinks break on November 10, 2022© Reuters

Injury was added to insult for Hellas Verona in their defeat to Atalanta last weekend, as goalscorer Lazovic came off with a thigh injury in the second half and could now miss the rest of the season.

Lazovic joins a well-occupied infirmary also holding Ondrej Duda (ACL), Kevin Lasagna (muscle), Josh Doig (muscle), Pawel Dawidowicz (hamstring) and Thomas Henry (knee), and the attacker's absence could lead to a recall for Simone Verdi against his former club.

Davide Faraoni will no doubt be eyeing Filippo Terracciano's spot at right wing-back also, but the former set up Lazovic's goal last weekend and may have done enough to keep hold of his spot.

As far as Empoli are concerned, Zanetti has been dealt a double suspension blow ahead of their penultimate fixture, as Fabiano Parisi and Filippo Bandinelli picked up their 10th yellow cards of the season last weekend and will sit this one out.

To complicate matters in the middle, Tommaso Baldanzi - who scored in the reverse fixture back in August - is away with Italy at the Under-20 World Cup, while Koni De Winter (knee), Razvan Marin (calf) and Sebastian Walukiewicz (muscle) are confined to the treatment room.

New Zealand international Liberato Cacace could be a straight swap for Parisi at left-back, while Liam Henderson and Nicolas Haas will compete to fill the void left by Bandinelli in the middle.


Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Ceccherini, Cabal, Hien; Terracciano, Tameze, Sulemana, Depaoli; Ngonge, Lazovic; Djuric

Empoli possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Ebuehi, Ismajli, Luperto, Cacace; Haas, Grassi; Akpa Akpro, Fazzini, Cambiaghi; Caputo


SM words green background

We say: Hellas Verona 1-1 Empoli

As impressive as Empoli have been on their own patch of late, Zanetti's side are still lacking the formula for success on the road and will hardly be helped by the absence of their skipper Bandinelli.

With neither side displaying rock-solid tendencies at the back, a third successive low-scoring draw could be on the cards, which may or may not see Hellas Verona live to fight another day.



For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data


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Game History

How you voted: Hellas Verona vs Empoli

Hellas Verona
23.3%
Draw
23.3%
Empoli
53.3%
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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CInter Milan38297289226794
2AC Milan38229776492775
3Juventus381914554312371
4Atalanta BCAtalanta372161070393169
5Bologna381814654322268
6Roma381891165461963
7Lazio381871349391061
8Fiorentina371691258441457
9Torino381314113636053
10Napoli381314115548753
11Genoa381213134545049
12Monza381112153951-1245
13Hellas VeronaHellas Verona38911183851-1338
14Lecce38814163254-2238
15Udinese38619133753-1637
16CagliariCagliari38812184268-2636
17Empoli3899202954-2536
RFrosinoneFrosinone38811194469-2535
RSassuoloSassuolo3879224375-3230
RSalernitana38211253281-4917


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