Italian Serie A Preview

Only 14 goals were scored in the Serie A between the nine matches played last weekend. Juventus and Roma couldn’t be separated after 90 minutes on Monday night, with the Italian powerhouses sharing the spoils in a 1-1 draw. Fiorentina beat lacklustre Inter Milan 1-0 to remain clear of Sampdoria in Serie A's final European place. Elsewhere, Torino rounded off a memorable week for themselves with a 1-0 win over Napoli which moved them up to eighth in the Serie A, just days after they reached the last 16 of the Europa League.

Sampdoria 17/20 | Draw 5/2 | Cagliari 34/10
Sampdoria came from behind to beat Atalanta 2-1 on Sunday for their first win since January 18. They will welcome poor travellers Cagliari to their fortress where they remain unbeaten with five victories and seven draws. Cagliari fell to their third consecutive 2-1 home defeat against Hellas Verona on Sunday, extending their winless run to five matches. Sampdoria are tipped to pile more misery on bottom-dwellers Cagliari with a win. 

AC Milan 6/10 | Draw 29/10 | Hellas Verona 42/10
AC Milan missed the chance to jump towards the European places in Serie A after struggling throughout a goalless draw away to Chievo. Filippo Inzaghi's AC Milan have not won back-to-back league games since October but have the chance to get back to winning ways with a home game against Verona. Hellas Verona have travelled poorly with three wins from 13 matches but managed a hard fought 2-1 victory away to Cagliari last time out. However, AC Milan will be desperate for maximum points in front of their faithful supporters and it looks very much likely.  

AC Cesena 23/10 | Draw 24/10 | Palermo 12/10
A strike from substitute Alejandro Rodriguez helped relegation-threatened Cesena claim a 1-0 victory over Udinese. The Spanish forward headed home the winner in the 76th minute to hand the hosts just their fourth win of the campaign. Palermo come to town after a dour goalless draw at home against Empoli. They have managed just one win from 12 travels, making it difficult to credit them with an away win. Relegation threatened Cesena have lacked consistency, making the draw a good bet.

Chievo 36/10 | Draw 24/10 | Roma 17/20
Ten-man Roma fought back from a goal down to earn a 1-1 draw with Serie A leaders Juventus on Monday, and as a result remain nine points back of the Bianconeri with 13 matches remaining. Chievo laboured to goalless draw against AC Milan on Saturday night and the relegation contenders will have a tougher task keeping second place Roma at bay. Roma's 1-1 draw with Juventus marked their sixth consecutive draw at home and the Giallorossi's seventh stalemate in their last eight matches. Roma are in need of a victory and are tipped to get it. 

Empoli 12/10 | Draw 9/4 | Genoa 24/10
Empoli picked up a vital point at Palermo, on Sunday afternoon, in their bid to avoid relegation. The Azzurri earned a hard fought goalless draw to move eight points clear of the Serie A relegation zone and are now unbeaten in their last five games. Genoa’s game with Parma on Sunday was postponed after the Parma players refused to play as they have not been paid their wages for several weeks now. Genoa have registered just two wins from their last eight matches. Empoli are unbeaten against Genoa in the last seven meetings and are tipped to claim maximum points.

Parma 2/1 | Draw 21/10 | Atalanta 29/20
Parma, who have been sold twice this season, are on the verge of bankruptcy and have called off their past two Serie A games. Two weekends ago their home match against Udinese was postponed indefinitely because the club couldn't afford to pay for security and electricity. Parma signed a 20,000 euro one-match deal with a sponsor early on Friday that would have covered bus travel and hotel costs for the match in Genoa but the players and coach - who, along with the rest of the staff, have not been paid for months - decided to take a stand. Atalanta slipped to their fourth straight defeat after a 2-1 home loss against Hellas Verona. They are 17th in the standings, only three points above of the relegation zone. Atalanta will be desperate for a positive result and should the match go ahead as scheduled, are tipped to edge the victory against the crises hit Parma.  

Udinese 31/20 | Draw 21/10 | Turin 7/4
A 1-0 loss away to Cesena, handed Udinese their third defeat on the trot. Turin are next up and full of confidence after snatching a 1-0 victory at home against third placed Napoli. The away team is unbeaten in their last eight games but Udinese will be a tough side to beat on their turf. Turin have won the last three meetings against Udinese, but Udinese have won four of the last five meetings at home against Turin. The draw is tipped.

Napoli 17/20 | Draw 26/10 | Inter Milan 31/10
Napoli missed the chance to move level with second-placed Roma as they lost 1-0 at Torino on Sunday. Despite that loss, Napoli have been in fine form with five wins from their last seven games. Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan side crashed to a home defeat after Chelsea loan man Mohamed Salah sealed all three points for Fiorentina at the San Siro. Both sides were in form and full of confidence after progressing to the Europa League round of 16 midweek, and Inter in particular after winning their past three league matches. But they were undone in front of their own supporters thanks to the Egyptian winger. This one should be an end to end encounter, with both sides currently playing some entertaining football. Both teams To Score looks a certainty. 

Lazio 11/10 | Draw 24/10 | Fiorentina 5/2
Lazio closed the gap on Napoli to two points with a 3-0 victory at Sassuolo, with goals from Felipe Anderson, Miroslav Klose and Marco Parolo helping the capital club to a third successive win. Fiorentina remained a point behind their opponents following a 1-0 victory at Inter Milan, with the race for the final Champions League spot gathering pace. Fiorentina are unbeaten in their last eight matches, with five victories and three draws. A win/draw for the away team looks a good bet. 

Juventus 2/9 | Draw 52/10 | Sassuolo 12/1
Leaders Juventus took a major step towards retaining their Serie A title with a draw against 10-man Roma at Stadio Olimpico. Juventus maintained a nine-point lead over Roma with 13 rounds remaining. Unbeaten at home, Juventus are out and out favourites to oust Sassuolo  who fell to a 3-0 thrashing in front of their fans by a vicious Lazio side. It was their third defeat in as many weeks and it doesn’t look likely that Sassuolo are to get anything out of Juve. Back the table toppers on the half-time/full-time double. 

Written by Vuvuzela

Vuvu’s Serie A Picks

Sampdoria WIN 17/20
AC Milan WIN 6/10
Cesena DRAW 24/10
Roma WIN 17/20
Empoli WIN 12/10
Atalanta WIN 29/20
Udinese DRAW 21/10
Napoli BTTS 15/20
Fiorentina WIN/DRAW 13/20
Juventus HT-FT DOUBLE 6/10