Hellas Verona will see this match as a perfect opportunity to secure Serie A survival and move back to the top of the league standings. Meanwhile, this is probably Cesena’s final chance to keep their survival hopes alive, but the visitors will have a mountain to climb at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi.
Five points behind top 10
Last season’s impressive performances put Hellas Verona back on the map and the club chiefs in turn decided to cash in on some star players while still allowing coach Andrea Mandorlini to work with a strong group of players. As a result, the Gialloblu were unable to mount a serious challenge for European positions, but they never got involved in the difficult relegation tussle either. Team’s current league position is misleading seeing as a win over struggling Cesena would probably see them move three or four places higher and Verona’s performances of late have been quite impressive. While only losing to red-hot Lazio, the Gialloblu shared spoils with AS Roma and AC Milan and defeated Cagliari on the road and Napoli at home, meaning they have plenty of reason for optimism at the moment. The hosts will have a number of important players back to the side after they missed the Lazio defeat, and after seeing off star-studded Napoli in their previous home fixture, Hellas Verona can be trusted to extend the good run against out-of-sorts Cesena.
Bosko Jankovic, Rafa Marquez, Jacopo Sala and Juanito Gomez are all back in contention, leaving Hugo Campagnaro, Mounir Obbadi and Artur Ionita as the only unavailable players.
End of the road for Cesena
Cesena are paying the price for the failure to properly reinforce the squad after gaining promotion to Serie A and it is fair to say nobody is surprised to see them deep in the relegation zone with ten games to go. There is still time for Mimmo Di Carlo’s charges to turn the season around seeing as they sit five points behind safety, but it is perfectly clear this team do not have the required quality or top-flight experience to stage a major comeback. Cesena showed some improvement in recent weeks as they defeated Udinese before sharing spoils with Palermo and Inter, but the home loss to AS Roma acted as a fresh blow to the players’ confidence. Team’s showing away form is a definite cause for concern ahead of the clash with in-form Verona, given that I Cavallucci Marini have only beaten rock bottom Parma on the road, while losing nine of remaining twelve matches. This is enough to suggest they are in for a difficult match at Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi that could all but confirm their relegation to Serie B.
Franco Brienza, Gabriele Perico and Ze Eduardo return to the side, but Guido Marilungo, Francesco Renzetti, Luca Valzania and Andrea Tabanelli are out injured.
Hellas Verona have been in fine form of late and with several key men back to the side, they should have no problems defeating the second-worst travellers in the elite division. Cesena are slowly coming to terms with getting relegated and they will find it hard to get something from this match.
Top pick: Home win 1.91 (10/11) @ Sportingbet
Alternative pick 1: Verona/Verona 3.10 (21/10) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Verona -1.5 AH 3.40 (12/5) @ 888sport