Bologna's trip to the Bentegodi almost seems unnecessary. Verona are in sixth, eighteen points above the rossoblu. They may have just lost to Torino in their last home outing, but the hosts remain strong on their turf, pressuring visitors right from the start and recording some emphatic wins.
Davide Ballardini's usual approach - sit back, attempt to win a point - won't work here. In fact, it hasn't worked most of the time, which explains why the coach hasn't been able to push Bologna to safety. But only Juventus have left Verona with a point, and that's because the hosts came back to draw, not because the Old Lady sat back and waited.
So Ballardini will field Panagiotis Kone as their playmaker, sitting just behind veteran striker Rolando Bianchi. It's a move the manager insists has been working for the rossoblu, despite the fact that in Bologna's last victory, a 2-1 win over Torino, it was Jonathan Cristaldo that played behind Bianchi, scoring both goals.
Perhaps the visitors only hope lies in the fact that Luca Toni, who's scored thirteen goals this season, is serving a one-match ban. With Jorginho gone to Napoli, that leaves young Juan Iturbe as Verona's great hope. In Toni's absence, Andrea Mandorlini will likely give Michael Rabušic his first start, keeping Juanito on the bench.
Injuries and Suspensions
Bologna (3-5-1-1): Gianluca Curci; Andrea Mantovani , Cesare Natali, Mikael Antonsson; Archimede Morelo, Lázaros Christodoulópoulos, Diego Pérez, Rene Krhin, György Garics; Panagiotis Kone; Rolando Bianchi
Match Date / Time
Sunday, March 2 at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET
Stadio Bentegodi, Verona
TV: Premium Calcio 3, Sky Calcio 2 (Italy)
Online: bet365, bwin