Paul Higham has a Bet Builder double to kick off our props column this week involving Verona's top scorer Giovanni Simeone.
"Simeone has been prolific over the last seven games and Empoli allow around five shots on target per game, while Verona are right up their in the bookings charts with only three teams having more."
Verona v Empoli
Monday 23 November, 17:30 kick-off
Verona host Empoli in Serie A on Monday night with both teams locked together on 16 points in midtable, and both sides have already taken some big scalps this season.
Over the last five games Verona have only won one more point than Empoli, but the standard of opposition has been vastly different, with Hellas mixing it with the genuine big boys of the league.
Verona have faced Milan, Juventus, Napoli and Lazio and lost just once, beating Juve (2-1) and Lazio (4-1) and drawing with Serie A leaders Napoli last time out.
That's serious form however you look at it, and on home soil they've been excellent of late as they've won four in a row after losing their first two of the season, scoring 13 goals in the process.
Countering that is the fact Empoli are away day specialists who have won four of five on the road including at Juventus, although that was early in the season when Juve were a mess.
Verona top the over 2.5 goal standings at home with all six having three goals or more - in fact five of those had over 3.5 goals in them.
Since Igor Tudor took over as Verona manager, they've scored two more goals than any other team in the league (22) while picking up 16 points in nine games - only AC Milan, Napoli, Atalanta, Inter and Juventus have more.
Our player focus here is on prolific Verona striker Giovanni Simeone, who has scored nine goals this season with all of them coming in the last seven games and four of them all coming against Lazio!
14 of his 16 shots and all 12 of his shots on target have come in the last seven games for a total average of 1.68 shots on target per 90 minutes this season.
With Empoli allowing over five shots on target per 90 minutes it's a good fit for Simeone to continue his hot streak, and you'd be happy enough to back him to score first given he's opened the scoring in five of Verona's last seven - all within the first 30 minutes.
Given Empoli concede a lot of shots but not too many goals away from home, we're being prudent and backing Simeone to have two shots on target in this game at 2.111/10.
What you can't also ignore about Verona is their love of yellow cards - as they're only two off the league's worst offenders for bookings, and in a big Monday night game they can easily pocket three, which is just about their average per game.
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2021/22 COLUMN P/L