Hellas Verona Vs Chievo Verona – 23rd November, 17.00, Bentegodi
On the 18th of November 2001, the first ever Derby della Scalla otherwise known as the Derby di Verona in Italy’s top flight commenced. As we fast forward to the current season 11 years on, Serie A will once more be treated to one of its most enthralling, passionate and long awaited derbies. Having won promotion back to the top flight last term, Hellas, the side with a notorious right wing following, will resume rivalries with the side who far from share their political ideologies.
This will incredibly be only the eleventh occasion the two sides have faced to date, with both sides currently holding four wins apiece. The last time the two sides faced was back in 2002, when Chievo famously left the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi with all three points, in a memorably ferocious tie. With their political ideologies and footballing style being at the opposite ends of the spectrum, you could argue the only thing they have in common is where they play their football, the Stadio Bentegodi.
Despite having to endure difficult spells outside the top tier, the Hellas faithful have always remained fully devoted during times of adversity. Their average attendance of 14,000 whilst outside the top tier is considerably more than Chievo’s 9,300. This is largely due the fact of Hellas having a traditionally loftier following within the wider confines of the city and beyond.
After Giuseppe Sannino was relieved of his duties prior the international break, the Flying Donkeys (Chievo) moved swiftly to appoint a new manager in Eugenio Corini. Sannino was axed after a disappointing four months at the clubs helm, with Chievo lying bottom of Serie A having notched only a single victory. A statement on the club’s official website read: “Chievo Verona announces that it has entrusted the conduct of the first team to Eugenio Corini.” The agreement is based on a two-year contract.”
Corini returns to the club four months on after trying to force his way in to Palermo. The Italian now faces an uphill task to drag Chievo off the foot of the table, longing for a return to last season’s mid-table mediocrity. His task has not been assisted by the loss of a number of first team regulars over the past 6 months, including Stefano Sorrentino, Marco Andreolli and Francesco Acerbi. He also has to address an attacking unit that is increasingly struggling for goals of late, having only scored once in their last five away ties. Their increasingly worrying lack of fire power is unlikely to strike fear into the eyes of neighbours Hellas.
Hellas Verona on the contrary have been the surprise package in the league this season, the recently promoted side are currently perched in sixth position, much to the elation and surprise of their faithful. Having incredibly won their last eight consecutive home games, they’ll be eagerly awaiting the arrival of their local rivals of whom they must feel they’re playing at a great time. Luca Toni & Jorginho have been the stars of their season, with the latter of the two being linked with moves far and wide across Europe due to his pulsating form. Whilst the veteran Italian Toni who was signed in the summer, has already notched on six occasions this season, with the fire power they have at their disposal I expect to overwhelm their rivals Chievo.
Form – Last 5 games
Hellas Verona – WLWWL
Chievo Verona – DDLLL
I have personally been awaiting this derby for many years, a tie that rarely disappoints. The wider world is set to be reintroduced to the Derby Della Scalla again on Saturday, which I suspect will be full of fireworks, in more ways than one. Considering the contrasting form of the two sides and the uncertainty Chievo are in, I am expecting Hellas Verona to blow them away on Saturday, notching a famous victory. With regards to betting a number of markets have caught my eye, in particular Verona to win priced at evens.
Hellas Verona – win (evens) – Won their last eight competitive home ties, whilst Chievo notoriously struggle as the away side, not finding three points since May.
Luca Toni – First goal scorer (9/2) – Their iconic talisman has had a superb season to date, having impressively notched six times. He is also scored in each of their last two outings at the Stadio Bentegodi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EkK2a7qxnHI
Hellas Verona + BTTS (10/3) – Here lays the real value, for me. Considering I fully expect Hellas to have too much fire power for their neighbours, I’ll be holding out here for a solitary goal from Chievo, very do-able in a derby where ‘form often goes out the window’.
Hellas Verona will enter the tie as huge favourite’s given their form and numerical advantage in the stands, however Chievo have developed a dangerous reputation for upsetting the odds in their short history in the top flight. Given it’s a derby, Chievo should have that extra motivation to finally drag themselves out of second gear this season. With Corini returning as manager, there’s real hope they’ll be a new air of optimism surrounding the club. If they can manage to conjure a win on Saturday, they’ll have given their small selection of fierce supporters arguably one of the most famous wins in the clubs short history.
This derby has the reputation of being one of the most ferocious ties on and off the pitch in Italy, given how sparsely the two meet; it’s definitely not an occasion to miss.