We’re kicking off a new week in Italy, because Kevin Hatchard expects a lively game in Verona.
Attacks to dominate in Italy
Chievo v Salernitana
Monday 17 February, 20:00
It wasn’t quite fine with the Dandies for Tobias, as Aberdeen did him the disservice of being stubborn and only losing 2-1 to Celtic. While he quaffs an IRN-BRU laced with frustration, we’ll head to Italy. Chievo are playing Salernitana in the second tier, and there are reasons to believe that the hosts will be frustrated.
While Hellas Verona are currently catching the eye in Serie A (they recently beat the champions Juventus,) their city rivals Chievo are playing catch-up in Serie B. A run of one win in eight league games has seen the Flying Donkeys tumble out of the promotion playoff spots, casting doubt over an immediate return to the big time. Chievo finished rock-bottom of Serie A last season.
Salernitana are up to fifth in the table after a recent surge. They have won three of their last four league games, and have drawn the other. The Maroons have lost just one of their last eight matches, not bad for a team that finished 16th in the table last term. Former Italy boss Gian Piero Ventura is working wonders in his first season at the helm, drawing upon the experiences gained from a career that has seen him coach 19 different clubs, including Napoli, Sampdoria and Torino. He was in charge of Chievo in 2018, so knows tonight’s opponents well, although he only lasted a handful of games before walking out.
There are two bets that appeal here. The first is to lay Chievo at [2.04], as the hosts are on a bad run (they have lost three of their last four at home) and were held to a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture. The only thing that concerns me slightly is that Salernitana have lost six of their last nine away games.
Instead I’ll go for Both Teams To Score at [1.92]. Salernitana have scored in their last ten Serie B matches, a run that stretches back to late November. Chievo have scored in all but one of their home matches, but they have only kept three clean sheets in that sequence.