Preview: Bologna vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news

Hace 4 meses

Preview: Bologna vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news

Sports Mole previews Friday's Serie A clash between Bologna and Hellas Verona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sports Mole previews Friday's Serie A clash between Bologna and Hellas Verona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

High-flying Bologna welcome relegation-threatened Hellas Verona to the Stadio Renato Dell'Ara in the opening Serie A fixture of the weekend on Friday.

A fourth straight win for Thiago Motta's men last weekend has kept their dreams of Champions League football alive, while Verona are in dire need of a victory to move out of the bottom three in what should be an intriguing encounter.

Match preview

Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on October 7, 2023© Reuters

Bologna have returned to form in some style during February, with four wins from four this month putting them right back in contention for the Champions League.

A dismal run of results post-Christmas looked like it was going to derail the Rossoblu's season, as Motta oversaw a run of five games without a win, including taking just one point from a double-header against newly-promoted pair Genoa and Cagliari.

Arguably their best result yet came last weekend, as Bologna went to the Stadio Olimpico and beat Lazio 2-1, just days after their famous win over Bayern Munich last midweek.

It follows on from another important victory over Fiorentina, and two four-goal performances which saw them sweep aside Sassuolo and Lecce.

Bologna sit level on points with Atalanta, but they have played a game more than Gian Piero Gasperini's side, who themselves are on an incredible run of form, with a superior goal difference to boot.

Their recent wins have put healthy distance between themselves and the sides below them though, as there is a four-point gap between themselves and Roma in sixth, with Fiorentina a further three back in seventh.

Hellas Verona's Michael Folorunsho celebrates scoring their first goal on February 17, 2024© Reuters

In comparison, Verona are enduring a really tough spell near the foot of the table, as they enter the weekend in 18th.

The visitors have taken just six points from eight league games since Christmas, with their only win coming against Empoli.

A very poor defeat to a Salernitana side that looked doomed was followed up with further losses to Inter Milan, Roma and Napoli.

Despite the gloomy atmosphere that may have started to creep in though, Verona won a very valuable point last weekend, holding Juventus to a 2-2 draw at the Bentegodi, despite conceding the lead twice.

That result was not enough to lift them out of the bottom three, but they are now level on points with Sassuolo in 17th after they were thrashed by Atalanta last weekend.

Bologna Serie A form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Hellas Verona Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D

Team News

Bologna's Joshua Zirkzee celebrates scoring against Inter Milan on October 7, 2023© Reuters

Bologna will be able to welcome back Remo Freuler in midfield after he sat out the win in the capital due to amassing five yellow cards, with the only expected absentee for the hosts being Adama Soumaoro in defence, as the Frenchman is recovering from a serious knee injury.

In attack, Joshua Zirkzee should lead the line, and he reached double figures for the season after netting in the win over Lazio, further strengthening his chances of starting for the Netherlands in the European Championships this summer.

Zirkzee's partner-in-crime has been wide man Riccardo Orsolini, who has scored five goals despite starting just four games since mid-January, and he is set to flank the Dutchman here.

Like their hosts, Verona are only expected to be without one first-team player here, with Juan Manuel Cruz recovering from a muscular injury.

That means they are likely to remain unchanged from the side which earned an impressive point against Juventus on home soil last weekend.

After selling Cyril Ngonge to Napoli, his replacement in attack got his first goal for the club in that draw, as Tijjani Noslin netted Verona's second goal of the evening, meaning he is likely to start again.

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Posch, Beukema, Lucumi, Kristiansen; El Azzouzi, Ferguson, Freuler; Orsolini, Zirkzee, Saelemaekers

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Tchatchoua, Magnani, Dawidowicz, Cabal; Duda, Daniel Silva, Suslov; Folorunsho, Noslin, Lazovic

SM words green background

We say: Bologna 2-0 Hellas Verona

Bologna will fancy their chances of extending their winning run to five against a side embroiled in relegation trouble, as Verona come into the fixture with just one victory in 2024.

Only four points separate Verona and the five teams above them, so the relegation battle remains wide open in Serie A, but they need wins urgently to pull themselves up the table, and this looks like a difficult task.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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