Hellas Verona’s quest for an elusive away victory against AC Milan continued after they narrowly lost 1-0 at San Siro over the weekend. Despite the result, Verona’s manager, Marco Baroni, was pleased with his team’s performance and emphasized the need for them to “believe” more as they aim to end their three-match winless run in the league (with one draw and two losses).
Fortunately for Verona, the two wins they achieved before their recent loss mean they enter this clash in a comfortable mid-table position. This is a significant improvement from the previous season when they narrowly avoided relegation with a tie-breaker victory. However, they aim to avoid repeating the feat of suffering back-to-back defeats against Atalanta this season. Yet, their dismal record of eight losses in 11 home league matches as the underdog since the start of the last season (with only one win and two draws) does not instill much confidence.
Meanwhile, Atalanta has had a successful few days, opening their UEFA Europa League campaign with a 2-0 win against Raków Częstochowa and repeating the scoreline against Cagliari in Serie A (SA) on Sunday. These victories have propelled them to three wins in five SA matches this season, despite two losses. However, both of those defeats occurred on the road, which may raise some concerns for their upcoming trip.
A quick look at the recent head-to-head results on Verona’s turf may help Atalanta regain their confidence. They are unbeaten in their last five SA visits to Verona, securing four wins and a draw. Nevertheless, Atalanta’s performance on the road in recent times has not been as impressive. They have suffered four defeats in their last five SA away games, albeit by slender one-goal margins. This suggests that a closely contested match could be in the cards, similar to their recent victories at this venue over the last two seasons.
Two players to watch in this fixture are Cyril Ngonge, whose crucial goals helped Verona avoid relegation last season and have been instrumental in their current campaign. Notably, his two goals this season have both come as the second of the game. On the Atalanta side, Ademola Lookman has also scored two goals this season. Interestingly, five of his seven career SA away goals have arrived in the second half.
A notable statistic is that Atalanta has kept only two clean sheets in their last 16 SA away games. This suggests that Verona may have opportunities to breach their defense during the match.
As Hellas Verona and Atalanta prepare to face off, the spotlight will be on Verona’s determination to end their century-long away winless streak against AC Milan. The match promises to be closely contested, with both teams looking to secure valuable points in the SA standings.