Soccer Italy Serie A Prediction
Spezia vs Verona - Match Preview
⚽ 11 June 2023 - 18:45 GMT +0
Last Sunday, an extraordinary final matchday in Serie A (SA) saw Spezia concede a 91st-minute goal to Roma in the 14 minutes of injury time played. The resulting 2-1 loss means they now travel to the Mapei Stadium for this relegation playoff match - a first in the Italian top-flight since 2005 - against Verona, who ended the season with the same number of points (31).
Spezia coach Leonardo Semplici stressed that “mentality will be crucial” as his team needs to shut out somehow the pain of last weekend and a solitary win across their last 12 matches (D4, L7). Playing at the neutral venue of Sassuolo’s home ground isn’t much of a positive for Spezia, who have lost on four of their previous five visits here (W1), but at least there won’t be a mental block facing Verona as the Little Eagles were unbeaten in the two H2Hs this season (W1, D1).
Verona was minutes away from safety but two goals beyond the 80th minute condemned them to a 3-1 defeat at AC Milan on Sunday. Manager Marco Zaffaroni spoke about having “played a good game” but stressed the need to “restart and prepare for a fundamental game.” That restart will need his team to rewind the clock on a four-game winless streak (D1, L3) that was preceded by a six-game run where they lost only once (W3, D2).
While a neutral location negates any possible disadvantage of an away match and aids their cause, Verona can’t run away from their poor travelling record this campaign, with their ten points won on the road the second-worst tally in the division. Yet, this venue hasn’t been too daunting for them recently after avoiding defeat in three of their last five top-flight visits to the Mapei Stadium (W2, D1).
📋 Players to watch: Spezia will hope M’Bala Nzola finds his scoring boots and breaks a seven-game scoring duck as his brace led them to a 2-1 H2H win earlier this season. Verona’s consolation strike in that match was netted by Simone Verdi, who has three goals across his last three personal SA matches against Spezia, as part of a personal joint-best tally against any side of four strikes.
⚡ Hot stat: Spezia has never scored a first-half goal against Verona in six top-flight H2Hs.
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