Hellas Verona vs AC Milan: Rossoneri desperate to get back on track

balotelli-milan
www.sportinglife.com

After a dull draw with minnows Carpi, AC Milan will be desperate to pick up all three points against basement dwellers Hellas Verona at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on today.

Now under the guidance of former Primavera coach Cristian Brocchi, the Rossoneri appeared to have temporarily improved after earning a tough 1-0 road win over Sampdoria. However, AC Milan were brought firmly back down to Earth as Carpi held them to a 0-0 stalemate. The result was the icing on an already awful-tasting cake after a cringe-worthy publicity stunt that had fans scratching their heads.

For those who (fortunately, perhaps) did not view the epic fail performance before the mid-week match, here is a preview of the haka put on by “players” (actually actors) to promote sponsor Nivea:

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3i0q2n4rZ8[/youtube]

With that horror show behind them, AC Milan will be really keen on moving on and redeeming themselves. Fortunately for them – and new boss Brocchi – they will be taking on a side whose Serie B status is all but guaranteed for next season. Hellas Verona have been bottom of the table for pretty much all of this campaign and having lose four out of their last five matches, are not likely to make up the ten points that separate them from safety.

Luigi Delneri’s men have had a truly shockingly miserable time this term. It took them until February to win a single match and to date, they have won just three out of their 34 matches. However, despite this, they still do have a glimmer of hope. Should they beat AC Milan, and Empoli do them a huge favor and beat Carpi, the Gialloblu may have given themselves a lifeline.

Verona arrive having lost their past three games in a row. The last time they lost four on the trot was back in December until this was halted by a draw with none other than, yes, AC Milan. Delneri’s side, though, are still without the services of veteran striker Luca Toni as a result of injury. They have lost their past three home matches, and this comes after managing four prior to that at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi without suffering a defeat.

In addition to Toni, both Samuel Souprayen and Federico Viviani will be out due to suspension, and both Artur Ionita and Mohamed Fares, who trained separately earlier this week, will have to be evaluated to determine if they can feature this Monday. One player, who will be raring to go, will be Giampaolo Pazzini. The nomadic striker, who has played for Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Inter, and most recently, the Rossoneri, would certainly want to trouble his former side, where scored over 20 goals in over 70 league appearances.

As for the visitors, the goals have dried up as of late. The Diavolo have failed to score more than one goal in their past nine games, and will have to be very wary on set pieces – where they have been vulnerable, and still continue to struggle this season. Despite their travails, Verona have been quite decent in this area. In fact, Monday’s hosts have scored a whopping 20 goals from set-piece situations. This is a joint-best record with Roma, and considering that the Gialloblu have netted just 28 goals all season, it is an impressive feat indeed.

Although he was involved in a bit of a fracas with his manager, Carlos Bacca will again lead the line for the Rossoneri. Mario Balotelli is suspended for this game, alongside key defender Alex. Giacomo Bonaventura is out as a result of a thigh injury and could potentially miss out for the rest of the season.

Will Milan use this match as a springboard to regroup after an embarrassing midweek performance? Or will Verona stage a late rally in order to save themselves from what appears to be a very likely return to Serie B next season?

MORE: You can watch Hellas Verona vs AC Milan live with FuboTV 24-hour game pass FREE.

Michelle Bonsu

Freelance football journalist based in New York. Primarily support AC Milan as well as the Ghanaian and Italian NT’s, but you’ll find me watching the Bundesliga and Premier League as well–enjoy a good game, regardless of where it’s being played. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of my favourite players.