Palermo v Hellas Verona – Preview: Rosanero out to secure survival against relegated Mastini
The Sicilians drew 0-0 last time out against a stuttering Fiorentina side at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, whilst the Scaligeri ended Juventus’s 26 unbeaten league run to defeat them at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi, in what was skipper Luca Toni’s last ever game of competitive football.
Historically the two teams are evenly matched in Serie A, with Palermo winning 12 meetings and Hellas Verona 11. In the reverse fixture this season, Palermo won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Franco Vazquez.
Coincidentally, Palermo seem to have hit form just at the right time, obtaining eight points out of their last four games. Meanwhile, Hellas Verona have only won once on the road all season and they have also scored the least amount of goals with a paltry 11.
The Rosanero fans will have a keen eye on events at the Stadio Friuli as Udinese host the other relegation threatened team, Carpi. At the moment the Biancorossi are in the final relegation spot one point behind Palermo, however should they end up on the same number of points, it will be Palermo that will go down as they have a worse head-to-head record.
Apart from pride, there will not be much at stake for Hellas Verona, which is why Carpi’s owner Stefano Bonacini has recently asked the Italian league authorities to keep a close eye on this game to make sure that it is not fixed.
Palermo coach Davide Ballardini has a fully fit team at this disposal, whilst Hellas Verona’s Samuel Souprayen, Juanito Gomez and Mohammed Fares are all injury doubts
Form Guide: Palermo (D-W-W-D-L) Hellas Verona (W-L-W-L-L)
Expected Starting XIs
Palermo: Sorrentino; Cionek, Gonzalez, Andelkovic; Rispoli, Hiljemark, Maresca, Morganella; Vazquez; Gilardino, Trajkovski
Hellas Verona: Gollini; Pisano, Bianchetti, Helander, Albertazzi, Wszolek, Ionita, Viviani, Siligardi; Pazzini, Rebic