On Saturday night, football returns to the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi as Hellas Verona welcome Cagliari to town in Serie A action.
Hellas Verona (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Rrahmani, Kumbulla, Gunter; Faraoni, Amrabat, Miguel Veloso, Lazovic; Zaccagni, Pessina; Borini.
Cagliari (4-3-3) Cragno; Cacciatore, Pisacane, Klavan, Lu. Pellegrini; Nandez, Cigarini, Rog; Birsa, Simeone, Pereiro.
Suspended: Joao Pedro.
Unavailable: Farago, Nainggolan, Oliva, Pavoletti.
– Verona and Cagliari drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture: only once in Serie A history have these two sides drawn their two matches in a single Serie A campaign (1972/73).
– Verona are unbeaten in their last 10 Serie A home matches against Cagliari (W7 D3), winning the last four; only twice in their Serie A history have they won five consecutive home league matches against a single opponent (v Ascoli 1983-1988 and v Atalanta 2001-2016).
– Cagliari are the only side against which Verona have played more than 10 matches without scoring more than two goals in a single Serie A game.
– Verona have won 35 points from their 25 Serie A matches this campaign: in the three points for a win era, only once previous have they won more points at this stage of a top flight season (39 points in 2013/14).
– Verona have won their last three Serie A home games and could win four in a row for the first time since 2013 (six), when they won the last one against Cagliari.
– Cagliari have collected four draws and seven defeats in their last 11 Serie A games; they last went on a longer winless run in a single campaign in 2010 (14).
– No side has conceded fewer goals in the opening 15 minutes of play in Serie A this campaign than Verona and Cagliari (one).
– Verona’s Marco Faraoni is one of the four defenders with 3+ goals and 3+ assist in Serie A this season; he made his Serie A debut against Cagliari in November 2011, when he played for Inter.
– Verona striker Mariusz Stepinski has scored four goals in 19 Serie A appearances under Rolando Maran, for Chievo: Maran is the coach Stepinski has scored the most Serie A goals for.
– Cagliari’s Giovanni Simeone has scored six Serie A goals this season, like he did last term. However, his last away goal came back on his away debut in the competition, against Parma: he has failed to find the net in his last 11 Serie A away matches.