Having missed a great opportunity to close the gap behind their top 3 rivals, Fiorentina will attempt to make things right when they welcome high-flyers Hellas Verona to their Artemio Franchi. Meanwhile, the Gialloblu also have some catching up to do after derby defeat to Chievo somewhat marred the impressive start to the season.
Important game for Viola
Having largely impressed last season, Fiorentina were always going to play a major role in Serie A this term, and they have so far done well to remain in contention for a top 3 finish. Injury to Mario Gomez and several other selection problems prevented Viola from picking up a few more points and further improving their league position, but it is clear there is no cause for concern just yet. Viola did miss an excellent chance to close the gap behind third-placed Napoli to just one point, having suffered a somewhat unfortunate defeat to Udinese, but that should only make them even more determined to see off Hellas Verona and put extra pressure on the Azzurri before they face Lazio away on Monday night. Viola have so far been pretty impressive at their Artemio Franchi and with key men returning after they were rested in midweek, another comfortable home win looks on the cards. Mario Gomez has suffered a new setback and is not yet ready to return, but that is unlikely to be a problem as the new 4-3-3 formation is working like a charm.
Albert Aquilani is banned, whilst Mario Gomez and Ahmed Hegazy are out injured. Captain Manuel Pasqual faces a fitness test.
Hellas Verona on a downtrend
Hellas Verona have been without a doubt the biggest surprise package of the current Serie A campaign, with the newly-promoted side exceeding all expectations to climb to sixth in the overall standings and create a 12-point advantage over the bottom three. And it is important to note that the Gialloblu have fully deserved the high league position if we take into account their performances during the early exchanges, although they seem to have suffered a big dip in form of late. This is hardly surprising since everybody knows Andrea Mandorlini’s side do not have enough quality and experience to remain in the top half of the standings, and they could face problems in an attempt to arrest the recent poor run of results. Even if Verona gave a good account of themselves in the 2-0 defeat to Genoa, their performance in the home defeat to local rivals Chievo was probably the worst of the season, which is enough to suggest they are going to experience all sorts of problems against very good Fiorentina side. The visitors will be heavily relying on veteran striker Luca Toni to pour misery on his former side, but no doubt he will face a difficult task at Artemio Franchi.
Defender Michelangelo Albertazzi is back in contention, but now Matteo Bianchetti is doubtful with a muscle problem.
Fiorentina may not have impressed at their Artemio Franchi this season, but they have more than enough quality to see off struggling Hellas Verona on Monday night. The Gialloblu have suffered a serious dip in form of late and I don’t see how they are going to stop star-studded Viola from winning this game.
Top pick: Fiorentina/Fiorentina 2.22 (11/9) @ Betfair
Alternative pick 1: Fiorentina with -1.5 2.25 (5/4) @ bet365
Alternative pick 2: Over 2.5 goals 1.70 (7/10) @ BetVictor