Italian Serie A Preview

Matchday 15 saw Inter Milan return to the top of the table with a less than convincing 1-0 home win against Genoa. Roberto Mancini’s side moved two points above Napoli, who were beaten 3-2 by relegation-threatened Bologna on Sunday. Defending champions Juventus continued to impress with their fifth consecutive win, claiming a 2-0 victory at Lazio, while Sampdoria fell to a fourth straight defeat. Every team from 14th and below on the log are in danger of dropping into the relegation zone, depending on other results. The bottom three sides include newly-promoted Frosinone and Carpi, as well as Hellas Verona who remain without a victory heading into Gameweek 16.

Saturday 12 December

19/20 Genoa | Draw 9/4 | Bologna 3/1 (16:00) 

Genoa fell to a 1-0 defeat at Inter Milan last Saturday. Their last league win over Inter at San Siro was 3-1 back in March 26 1994, followed by just three draws and 10 defeats. The Grifone are still without an away win this season, scraping three points from eight attempts, and failing to score for the fifth time on their travels. Bologna defied all odds last time out with their impressive 3-2 victory over Napoli. However, it’s away from home where they have suffered, losing five of their seven travels. Genoa have won three of the last four meetings against their opponents, but it is Bologna who come into this encounter with momentum. The sides are tipped to cancel each other out.  

13/20 Palermo | 27/10 | Frosinone 42/10 (19:00) 

Palermo have lost three on the bounce, conceding three goals in each game, and have one point under Davide Ballardini, after their 3-0 defeat at Atalanta. They have scored just seven goals in eight home games but will be confident looking at Frosinone’s away record. It is the worst in the league as they remain without a win on the road, scoring only two goals and conceding 15 times. Frosinone are coming off a 2-0 defeat in their own backyard against Chievo and will be eager to turn things around in the attempt to avoid the drop come end of the season. With both teams struggling to keep the ball out the back of their own net, take Both Teams To Score at 19/20. 

17/10 Sassuolo | 21/10 | Torino 31/20 (19:00) 

Sassuolo got back to winning ways last Sunday with a 3-1 victory away to Sampdoria, their third away win in the league. They return to their ground where they remain unbeaten with four wins and three draws from seven games. Torino are undefeated in their last three games after playing to a commendable 1-1 draw on their own turf against Roma. They failed to beat Sassuolo last term, home and away – losing 1-0 on their ground, before drawing 1-1 on the road. Sassuolo have beaten some of the biggest teams at home this season and Torino should be no different. 

28/10 Udinese | 23/10 | Inter Milan 1/1 (21:45) 

Udinese were thrashed 3-0 by a rampant Fiorentina side last Sunday. They return to their ground where they have scored just six goals in seven matches. Inter Milan found their way back to the summit of the table with a hard-earned 1-0 home win. The Nerazzurri have been in top form with five wins from their last six games. They also posses the best away record in the league; as well as the best defensive record - conceding just nine times. Inter won this fixture 2-1 last season and are tipped to edge the win here.

Sunday 13 December

7/20 AC Milan | 37/10 | Hellas Verona 77/10 (16:00) 

Carpi-AC Milan was only the seventh goalless draw out of 150 Serie A matches this season. The Rossoneri have fired blanks seven times in 15 rounds, more than any other club this term. Verona made their Serie A debut under Gigi Del Neri, but still couldn’t get their first win of the season after six draws and nine losses. Verona have dropped an extra nine points by conceding second half goals, more than any other club. They’ve kept only one clean sheet this term, a 0-0 draw with Carpi. Milan are tipped to get back to winning ways in style with a Halftime/Fulltime Win against winless Verona at 9/10.   

29/20 Chievo | 2/1 | Atalanta 2/1 (16:00) 

Chievo have won two matches away from home on the bounce after their 2-0 victory at newcomers Frosinone. Atalanta registered a second win in a row with a clean sheet, thrashing Palermo 3-0 at home. They now have 10 more points at this stage of the season, compared to last season. Chievo have been terrible at home with just two wins. However, Atalanta have been just as poor on the road with their two victories. The teams have drawn the last three meetings against each other, so a stalemate is the likely result. But 13 of the last 16 meetings has seen Under 2.5 Goals, making that the safest bet at 11/20.  

6/10 Empoli | 27/10 | Carpi 47/10 (16:00) 

Empoli are unbeaten in their last four away games, winning two, after a hard fought 1-0 victory at Hellas Verona. Andrea Costa celebrated his fourth Serie A goal, the first in an Empoli jersey. Azzurri have been impressive of late with back-to-back wins and will have the confidence to get a third this weekend. Carpi will look to upset the applecart when they come to town. They held AC Milan to a goalless draw last weekend and are surely hoping to build on that. However, they have struggled on the road, losing five of their seven travels, conceding 19 times – the most in the league. The home win should be backed.  

6/10 Napoli | 3/1 | Roma 4/1 (19:00) 

Napoli’s unbeaten run comes to an end after 18 competitive games, including 14 victories, in which they scored 42 goals and only conceded eight times. That equals the club tally set in 1989-90 and 2005-06. Maurizio Sarri had only lost one match in charge of the club and that was his first, 2-1 at Sassuolo on August 23 before the 3-2 defeat at Bologna. Roma’s winless run stretches to three matches after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Torino. Their record away to Napoli doesn’t bode well, losing the last four encounters, scoring just once and conceding 10 times. However, a tight game is expected this time, with Napoli tipped to claim maximum points. 

6/10 Juventus | 11/4 | Fiorentina 9/2 (21:45) 

Juventus notched up five consecutive Serie A victories for the first time since October 2014. They’ve won six of their last seven competitive games and kept a clean sheet for 431 minutes of football. Paulo Dybala has seven goals and three assists after 15 rounds, the same tally Carlos Tevez had at this stage in his debut Juventus campaign. The Santiago Gentiletti own goal was the first time Juventus have scored in the opening 15 minutes this term. Fiorentina are unbeaten in eight competitive matches, including five wins, but ended a run of three straight stalemates. The Viola have received six penalties this season, more than any other club, and converted all of them, including one in the 3-0 victory against Udinese last weekend. Fiorentina have managed just two victories against Juventus in the last 14 meetings, so it looks like it’s going to take quite a performance to topple the champions. However, I do think Both Teams To Score is the best bet at 21/20.

Monday 14 December

9/20 Lazio | 32/10 | Sampdoria 57/10 (21:45) 

Lazio have been in diabolical form. They have lost six of their last eight matches after going down 2-0 on home soil against Juventus last Friday night. Sampdoria haven’t done any better, suffering four defeats on the spin. They are without a win on the road, scoring five goals and conceding 14 times. Judging by Lazio’s record against Sampdoria of six wins from the last seven meetings, scoring 11 goals and conceding just once, it’s difficult seeing the away team get anything out of this encounter. Another home win is on the cards.  

Serie A Picks
Genoa DRAW 9/4
Palermo BTTS 19/20
Sassuolo WIN 17/10
Inter Milan WIN 1/1
AC Milan HT/FT WIN 9/10
Chievo UNDER 2.5 GOALS 11/20
Empoli WIN 6/10
Napoli WIN 6/10
Juventus BTTS 21/20
Lazio WIN 9/20

Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!