Preview: Hellas Verona vs. Parma

Hellas Verona will look to recover from back-to-back defeats on Monday evening, as they welcome prime relegation candidates Parma to Stadio Bentegodi.

The respective Gialloblu outfits meet as the visitors continue to endure a nightmarish period of 12 league games without a win – their worst-ever run in Serie A.
Having struck the first turbulent patch of an otherwise solidly impressive season, Verona have continued their recent inconsistency in losing their last two league games. Coming after the Venetian side deservedly downed Napoli straight after defeat to lowly Bologna, recent reverses at the hands of Roma and Udinese were particularly disappointing.

Under much-admired coach Ivan Juric, they have never suffered three consecutive Serie A defeats though, so the demanding tactician will be doubly determined to take advantage of Parma’s woes on Monday.

Now in ninth place in the standings, Hellas were defeated 2-0 by Udinese at the Dacia Arena last time out, where Juric was – for once – tactically culpable for his team’s downfall.

An experiment that saw new signing Kevin Lasagna – just arrived from Udinese – and Nikola Kalinic feature together in a front pairing looks likely to be consigned to the dustbin of history, so one of the misfiring strikers will surely make way this week.

Reverting to type, Verona will seek to become the 19th club to reach 1000 goals in Serie A history, as they currently sit on 998 and face opponents whose confidence ebbs further away game by game. The hosts’ seasonal tally of 26 goals so far is the worst figure among sides in the top half of the table, so this may prove an ideal opportunity to finally fill their boots.

Never having drawn a home encounter with Parma in the top flight, Hellas have won six of the clubs’ last eight meetings in Veneto – including each of the last four.
The bleakest of bleak mid-winters continued for Roberto D’Aversa’s Parma side last time out, as they were beaten 3-0 against Emilian rivals Bologna at Stadio Ennio Tardini. Despite adding several attacking options to a shot-shy squad in the January window, D’Aversa again went with a relatively conservative lineup on home soil, which singularly failed to pay off.
With just two goals in the last ten rounds, their Serie A survival is now seriously on the line, as the teams above them start to pick up precious points. In dire need of a quick reversal in fortunes, Parma are above only bottom side Crotone, with a meagre 13 points from 21 fixtures in their disastrous 2020-21 campaign.

Dating back to the end of November, when former manager Fabio Liverani was still in charge, their win-free streak is far from the only ugly statistic they have stacked up this term.

Since December, Parma have failed to score in nine league games and have not even registered once in their last eight home matches in the top flight, with only Sampdoria’s record of nine back in 1972 representing a worse such run in Serie A history.

Returning to the dugout he vacated only last summer, D’Aversa certainly walked into a messy situation when succeeding Liverani, but has yet to inspire a turnaround in results. Both bosses’ frantic search for a winning formula has bred confusion, as Parma are – along with Ligue 1’s Saint-Etienne – one of two teams to have used the most players in the top five European leagues so far – a staggering 36.

One of Liverani’s few successes while in charge, Parma won the last meeting between these two teams – emerging victorious 1-0 at the Tardini in early October, when Jasmin Kurtic scored what ultimately proved to be the winner in the opening minute. His luckless successor would dearly love to repeat the dose on Monday and take a first step towards salvation.

Hellas Verona Serie A form: DWLWLL

Parma Serie A form: LLDLLL
Parma form (all competitions): LDLLLL

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