Preview: Hellas Verona vs. Lecce

Preview: Hellas Verona vs. Lecce

Second-bottom Hellas Verona host Lecce in round 13’s Serie A action at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi on Monday.

The relegation-threatened side are in free fall in the competition, and they seek to end their wretched run against an opponent keen to build on their draw with AC Milan a fortnight back.

Helles Verona may have begun the campaign with two wins from two — including a triumph over Jose Mourinho’s Roma — but a winless run has followed since beating the Giallorossi 2-1 in late August.

While Marco Baroni’s men were in the top four in the competition’s embryonic standings, their inability to secure results have now seen them drop into the bottom three, with a five-match losing run not helping their cause.

It does not help that the Gialloblu’s defence has been found wanting in the ongoing sequence of losses, averaging two goals conceded after keeping two clean sheets in the previous five, letting in as many strikes.

Baroni’s team must find ways to keep opponents out again if they are to leave the danger zone, but the Mastiffs should not panic, as they are only two points adrift of 17th-placed Empoli.

Returning to winning ways on Monday will be timely for the suffering club, who narrowly avoided the drop last season.

As for Lecce, the away side will be keen to pile more misery on their opponents as they aim to end a seven-game winless run in Serie A (eight in all competitions).

That run should have been over a fortnight back, with Roberto D’Aversa’s troops almost completing a roaring turnaround against Milan in a 2-2 draw at Stadio Via del mare.

Nicola Sansone and Lameck Banda netted second-half strikes to cancel out the Rossoneri’s 2-0 half time advantage, and Roberto Piccoli had an outstanding long-distance winning goal chalked off for a foul on Malick Thiaw after a VAR check.

Lecce deserved that point after forcing mistakes, and they hope to build on the draw when they travel to Verona on Monday, keen to record their first victory since September.

However, it will be far from straightforward for a side that have recorded one win in their last 12 away games in Serie A — a 1-0 triumph at Monza in May — losing seven and playing out four draws.

Hellas Verona Serie A form:
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Hellas Verona form (all competitions):
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Lecce Serie A form:
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Lecce form (all competitions):
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We say: Hellas Verona 1-1 Lecce
Verona have netted only four goals at the Bentegodi, while Lecce have scored five times on the road in as many attempts, meaning a draw could be on the cards in round 13’s encounter.

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