Relegation-threatened Chievo will be hoping to extend the bright run of results and get at least one point from the home clash against Lazio. Meanwhile, the Biancocelesti need to make amends for back to back losses to Empoli and Juventus, but the game at Bentegodi will be anything but a walk in the park.
Three-match unbeaten run
If any team knows how to fight relegation in Italian Serie A, it is Chievo, with the Flying Dinkeys starring into the abyss on a number of times over the last decade or so and always managing to avoid the drop in the end. Their counter-attacking approach usually works like a charm on the travels, as the team tend to surprise at least two or three of Italy’s top sides on the road every season, but they have problems when playing at home against the same opposition. Even if the Flying Donkeys look stronger than last term, they still lack the quality to match sides like Lazio, although it is important to note Rolando Maran’s charges appear to be in a very good form at the moment. Chievo recovered well from the dismal start to the season, taking four points from home games against Sassuolo and Cesena before bringing one point from Friuli last weekend. But, having won just one of six home matches this term while losing to Juventus, Parma and Genoa, the Flying Donkeys could find it hard to improve their poor record against Lazio.
Ruben Botta and Gennaro Sardo are back in contention, meaning that coach Rolando Maran has fully fit squad to choose from.
Back to the drawing board
New boss Stefano Pioli has quickly learned that the process of taking Lazio back where they belong could take a while, although the talented coach did really well to help his side recover from the disappointing start to the season. The run of five wins and a draw came to an abrupt end as the Biancocelesti were beaten by Empoli, while home game against star-studded Juventus clearly came at a bad time, although it is difficult to explain how Lazio suffered a 3-0 defeat after completely outclassing their more illustrious opponents. With third-placed Napoli mere three points in front, the Biancocelesti can still revive their Champions League ambitions, and the clash with Chievo will feel as a perfect opportunity to do so. Lazio have recorded big wins over Palermo and Fiorentina on the road this season, which is enough to suggest they definitely have the potential to win at Bentegodi, and the good performance against Juventus, in spite of the final scoreline, could be seen as a step in the right direction.
Senad Lulic misses out through suspension, but Diego Novaretti and Stefano Mauri are back to the side. Santiago Gentiletti, Mickael Ciani, Danilo Cataldi and Bruno Pereirinha are out injured.
Chievo have been pretty disappointing in home games this season and if Lazio play to their potential the Flying Donkeys will be powerless to avoid defeat. The Biancocelesti were terribly unfortunate to lose to Juventus and they can be trusted to end the poor run in Verona.
Top pick: Away win 2.15 (23/20) @ William Hill
Alternative pick 1: Under 2.5 goals 1.70 (7/10) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Lazio to win to nil 3.50 (5/2) @ Paddy Power