Newly promoted Hellas Verona host historic Italian giants Milan on Sunday in the upcoming round of Serie A matches.
Verona will be looking to build on their unbeaten start since getting promoted from Serie B. In their previous outing, they beat fellow top division newbies Lecce 1-0, which lifted them into seventh in the league table.
Milan, on the other hand, have had a slightly mixed start to the season. Having suffered a 1-0 defeat in their first match against Udinese, Milan then managed a good 1-0 home win against a stern Brescia side, placing them 13th.
It is worth mentioning I Rossoneri appointed Marco Giampaolo as their new head coach during the summer after Gennaro Gattuso stepped down from the position, having failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Qualification for the prestigious European competition will once again be the target for Milan this season. However, with Giampaolo having been in charge for only a matter of months, it will take some time for the players to get on board with his philosophies.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Sunday 15 September|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:45 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Premier Sports 1 (UK)|
Where to Buy Tickets
Tickets for the game are, as ever, available on both teams' official club websites, though membership is required in order to purchase. In terms of resale, both teams provide the option to make season tickets available for others to use, if a supporter is unable to attend the game themselves.
Verona's new central midfield loan signing Emmanuel Badu is still out with an illness and is yet to make his debut for the club. Left back Alessandro Crescenzi and highly experienced Brazilian-born midfielder Daniel Bessa are also both out with injury problems.
For Milan, new summer signing Theo Hernandez, who joined for €18m from Real Madrid, seems unlikely to recover from his capsular rupture but should be back for the following matches. Defender Mattia Caldara and midfielder Lucas Biglia are still injured and unavailable for selection.
Rossoneri's biggest signing this summer was 20-year-old Portuguese striker Rafael Leao, signed from Lille for €30m. He has only briefly featured in Milan's side this season, once coming off the bench.
However, he performed well for Portugal Under-21s during the international break, which should put him in the contention for a starting position.
|Hellas Verona||Silvestri; Kumbulla, Günter, Rrahmani; Lazovic, Veloso, Henderson, Faraoni; Pessina; Zaccagni, Tutino.|
|Milan||Donnarumma; Rodríguez, Romagnoli, Musacchio, Calabria; Bennacer, Calhanoglu, Kessié; Castillejo, Suso; Piatek.|
Head to Head Record
The two sides have faced each other 58 times during their combined rich history. Milan have beaten Verona on 26 occasions, whereas Verona have claimed ten victories.
Fortunately for Verona, they seem to do well against Milan on home soil. The last two times Milan have visited Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi, Verona claimed 3-0 and 2-1 victories in the league.
With Milan known to have struggled away from home in the last couple of seasons, this could prove to be a difficult affair for the Champions League hopefuls.
As briefly mentioned, Verona are currently in good form and are unbeaten after their first two games.
They opened the campaign with a solid 1-1 draw against a tough Bologna side, in a match where they had to come back from a goal behind after the early sending off of defender Pawel Dawidowisz.
Verona then beat Lecce 1-0 away from home. However, the real tests are ahead of them with difficult matches against Milan and Juventus on the horizon.
Milan themselves have had an underwhelming start to the season. An opening away loss to Udinese gave Giampaolo a nightmare start, but his fortunes turned around somewhat with a 1-0 home victory against Brescia in the following match, as Hakan Calhanoglu's neat header proved to be the decisive goal.
Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures.
|Lecce 0-1 Hellas Verona (1/9)||Milan 1-0 Brescia (31/8)|
|Hellas Verona 1-1 Bologna (25/8)||Udinese 1-0 Milan (25/8)|
|Hellas Verona 1-2 Cremonese (18/8)||Cesena 0-0 Milan (17/8)|
|Hellas Verona 1-1 Trabzonspor (29/7)||Feronikeli 0-2 Milan (10/8)|
|Hellas Verona 3-0 Cittadella (2/6)||Manchester United 2-2 Milan (3/8)|
It looks like this is going to be a tight affair that might be decided by a single goal. Milan haven't exactly set the world alight recently but fans will need to be patient and give the new manager time before making final conclusions.
I Rossoneri need to fix their away form if they want to qualify for the Champions League this season, so this match should prove to be a good test to see what this squad is made of.
But Verona should be optimistic coming into this match. They've beaten Milan at home in previous league seasons, and given how they have started the current season there's no reason why they might not do the same this time around.
Milan should have enough to register their second Serie A win of the campaign.