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Sep 25, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Criscito (76' pen.), Destro (80', 85')
Maksimovic (48'), Behrami (53'), Pandev (54')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Simeone (8'), Barak (49' pen.), Kalinic (90+1')
Gunter (57'), Ilic (62')

Preview: Genoa vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Genoa vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Genoa and Hellas Verona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

With either side looking for just their second win of the season, Genoa welcome Hellas Verona to Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday evening.

Both teams were held to 2-2 draws last time out in Serie A, which leaves them on only four points apiece so far this term.

Match preview

Having lost both of their first two league games of the 2021-22 campaign to top four contenders Inter and Napoli, a recent revival - sparked by a spectacular comeback win in Cagliari - has at least got Genoa off the mark.

Four points from their last three games - with the latest coming on Tuesday evening, when they drew away to Bologna thanks to a late Domenico Criscito penalty - has helped ease the pressure on head coach Davide Ballardini just a little, particularly with a more gentle fixture list to come during the next month.

Following the visit of Verona this weekend, the Grifone meet promoted clubs Salernitana, Venezia and Empoli - plus Spezia and Torino - so are well-placed to make up lost ground on the clubs of similar stature that sit above them in the table.

Certainly, it is the porous Genoa rearguard that Ballardini needs to address most urgently, as they have leaked 12 league goals already - pointing towards another scrap against relegation rather than the mid-table comfort to which they aspire.

As the oldest club in Calcio, the Ligurian outfit have tradition to uphold, and they will do so under new ownership, having been taken over by a Miami-based investment company this week, after they bought out previous incumbent Enrico Preziosi.

The new regime would undoubtedly welcome a win from their first game as custodians of the club, and will already be forming their opinions on Ballardini and his future prospects as Genoa boss.

Hellas Verona, meanwhile, have already made a managerial change this season - with Eusebio Di Francesco being swiftly replaced by former Juventus defender and assistant coach Igor Tudor a fortnight ago.

While Tudor got off to a great start with an against-the-odds win over Roma last weekend - when the Gialloblu twice came from behind to taste victory - he will have been left frustrated by his new side's inability to hold on for maximum points in midweek.

Losing a two-goal lead - given to them by a Nikola Kalinic brace - in a 2-2 draw with Salernitana on Wednesday leaves the Venetian club down near the relegation zone at this early stage, and prolongs a problematic period on the road.

Verona are currently enduring a run in which they have lost eight of their last 13 Serie A away fixtures, plus they have failed to win back-to-back league matches home or away for over a year.

Such inconsistency undermined the end of Ivan Juric's previously successful reign and also brought about the demise of Di Francesco, so their predecessor in the Hellas dugout will hope to start a winning run at Marassi this week, ahead of Spezia's visit on Sunday.

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

Genoa form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

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

Hellas Verona form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Verona are expected to be without captain Miguel Veloso (thigh), plus defensive pair Gianluca Frabotta (calf) and Bosko Sutalo (Achilles) due to injury this weekend, with coach Igor Tudor also considering changes amid an intense fixture schedule in the past week.

While Giangiacomo Magnani was brought into the visitors' back three at the expense of Federico Ceccherini last time out, their roles could be reversed this weekend, with Adrien Tameze and Daniel Bessa also pushing for a start in midfield after being named among the substitutes in Salerno.

Nikola Kalinic enjoyed a successful game as the replacement for Giovanni Simeone up front in midweek - though was withdrawn early in the second half - and the pair will battle it out for the lone striker's role at Marassi, with Kevin Lasagna providing an option from the bench if passed fit.

The hosts, meanwhile, have only ex-Lazio forward Felipe Caicedo and midfielder Francesco Cassata as confirmed injury absentees on Saturday, but Davide Ballardini may make some switches in personnel, if not formation, for the visit of Verona.

Mattia Destro and Goran Pandev are likely to contest the lone striker's role again - as Caleb Ekuban still remains doubtful - with highly-rated primavera graduate Yahya Kallon poised to start again wide, as part of Ballardini's recently favoured 4-2-3-1 setup.

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Sabelli, Maksimovic, Vanheusden, Criscito; Behrami, Badelj; Kallon, Rovella, Fares; Destro

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Dawidowicz, Gunter, Magnani; Faraoni, Bessa, Tameze, Lazovic; Barak, Caprari; Kalinic

We say: Genoa 1-2 Hellas Verona

Though it is a close call due to their frailties on the road in recent months, Verona can edge this encounter by the odd goal, as the Genoa defence is far from steadfast and is easily breached.

The away side can continue their improvement under Igor Tudor's leadership, while their flaky hosts may be set for a season of struggle once more.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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