MX23RW : Friday, January 8 04:03:09| >> :600:198932:198932:
Dec 12, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Caicedo (56')
Akpa-Akpro (59'), Caicedo (64'), Reina (68'), Marusic (79'), Fares (87')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lazzari (45' og.), Tameze (67')
Salcedo (74'), Magnani (78'), Colley (90')

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

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

Riding the crest of a wave following their greatest European accomplishment in two decades, Lazio welcome a progressive Hellas Verona side to Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening.

The clubs meet having both risen near to the top of the Serie A form table, with Verona just a point behind their hosts, who sit seventh after a tumultuous opening ten games.

Match preview

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic celebrates scoring against Inter Milan in February 2020© Reuters

Chief architects of Lazio's recent success, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile both starred against Club Brugge in midweek, as the club qualified for the last-16 of the Champions League for the first time in 20 years with a 2-2 draw at the Olimpico.

Last season's capocannoniere Immobile won and converted a penalty in the first half, while Luis Alberto - another key man who has been absent due to COVID-19 infection earlier this season - ran the game from midfield.

It was surely a deserved qualification, as the Aquile went unbeaten throughout a hard-fought Group F campaign disrupted by both illness and injury. In the aftermath, coach Simone Inzaghi claimed such progress was "like a trophy" for his experienced outfit, which had previously underwhelmed when on continental duty.

That cherished achievement followed a lacklustre and rather fortunate win over Spezia last weekend, when the Aquile prevailed despite being clearly outplayed by the promoted Ligurian outfit.

Milinkovic-Savic and Immobile - now with 11 goals in 12 appearances in all competitions - were the goalscorers then too, and their return to form and fitness suggests brighter times ahead for Inzaghi's side.

Lazio players celebrate Ciro Immobile's goal against Borussia Dortmund in October 2020© Reuters

If precedent is anything to go by, the afterglow can linger on for Lazio this week, as the Biancocelesti have won six of their last seven league games against Saturday's opponents Verona.

Lazio have in fact won 23 points out of 27 at home against the Gialloblu in the three-points-per-win era, having scored 30 goals against them in the process. That represents their best goals-per-game average (of 3.3) against any top-flight club.

However, the Aquile have conceded 17 goals after the first 10 games this season, their worst tally at this stage since 1992-93 and have won only one of their five home games in Serie A this term. Both of those statistics must markedly improve if they are to mount any kind of Scudetto challenge in the spring.

After a recent upturn in results - though they were knocked out of the Coppa Italia last month - Verona are currently eighth after 10 games, with a healthy return of 16 points.

Ivan Juric's well-drilled side drew 1-1 with mid-table counterparts Cagliari last week and have generally provided a positive output, even after losing some of their better players in the summer.

Their Croat coach is often cited as a major factor in the club's ascendancy, leading the team to successive seasons of fighting things out in the top half despite a relatively modest squad.

Verona midfielder Mattia Zaccagni, in particular, has attracted the attention of several top teams in Italy - including Saturday's opponents Lazio - due to his consistently impressive performances this term.

With two goals and four assists so far, Zaccagni was called up to Roberto Mancini's Azzurri squad for the first time in November and may even prove an outside contender for a place in Italy's selection at next summer's Euros.

Playing in behind lone striker Samuel Di Carmine, the Cesena-born player helped Verona to win their last away fixture against Atalanta, after a long streak of nine draws and five defeats on the road.

The Gialloblu last won consecutive away top-flight games in 2014 however, so victory in Rome may prove a bridge too far for Zaccagni and company.

Lazio Serie A form: WWDWLW
Lazio form (all competitions): WWLDWD

Hellas Verona Serie A form: DWDLWD
Hellas Verona form (all competitions): WDLLWD

Team News

Hellas Verona coach Ivan Juric reacts on November 22, 2020© Reuters

Ivan Juric's Verona have main summer signing Nikola Kalinic out again, but Koray Gunter and on-loan Marco Benassi could be set to return.

Defender Matteo Lovato is expected to replace the suspended Federico Ceccherini in the Gialloblu's usual 3-4-2-1 setup, with livewires Antonin Barak and Mattia Zaccagni playing in support of lone striker Samuel Di Carmine.

Hosts Lazio have a handful of players missing for what could prove to be a stern challenge of their credentials, with influential midfielder Luis Alberto, centre-backs Patric and Luiz Felipe, striker Vedat Muriqi and captain Senad Lulic all out injured.

Simone Inzaghi should feel the necessity to rotate, so Thomas Strakosha - recently back from COVID-19 infection - could replace Pepe Reina in goal, while Mohamed Fares could return at wing-back.

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Strakosha; Hoedt, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Akpa Akpro, Fares; Correa, Immobile

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Magnani, Dawidowicz, Lovato; Faraoni, Tameze, Veloso, Lazovic; Zaccagni, Barak; Di Carmine

SM words green background

We say: Lazio 2-2 Hellas Verona

Lazio striker Ciro Immobile has scored a goal in each of his last five league games and - ominously for Saturday's opponents - registered his last Serie A hat-trick against Verona in July.

But while the Azzurri star can expect to continue his hot streak at home, adventurous Verona are more than capable of prising open a patched-up Lazio defence more than once at Stadio Olimpico.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at 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


How you voted: Lazio vs Hellas Verona

Hellas Verona
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo pictured on November 4, 2020
Read Next:
Saturday's Serie A predictions including Juventus, Inter Milan, Atalanta BC
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1AC Milan16114135191637
2Inter Milan16113241212036
6Atalanta BCAtalanta1584336211528
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona166642015524

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!