Italian Serie A Preview

In what looked like a disastrous season for Juventus, the champions managed to turn it around. They sit top of the table, but were fortunate not to be leapfrogged by title challengers Napoli who were held to a 1-1 draw on Monday night, after Juve played out to a goalless stalemate last Friday night at Bologna. As a matter of fact, the top six teams remain in the same order for a consecutive week. Inter Milan got back to winning ways at the San Siro with a 3-1 win over Sampdoria, Fiorentina edged Atalanta 3-2 in a five-goal thriller and Roma annihilated Palermo 5-0 to earn their fifth win on the spin. In the relegation zone, all three of the clubs managed to claim a point at the very least. Newcomers Carpi played to a dour goalless draw at Torino, Frosinone also held Lazio to a scoreless stalemate at home, whilst Verona claimed only their second win of the season in a 3-1 victory in front of their faithful supporters against Chievo. There are still 12 league games to go and plenty of money to be made – let’s see what valuable picks I can find this week.  

Saturday 27 February

34/10 Empoli | Draw 5/2 | Roma 17/20 (19:00) 

We kick-start the weekend at Empoli who are now without a victory in their last seven matches, including two defeats on the spin. They will go toe-to-toe with a rampant Roma side that have won five matches on the spin, not to mention a 5-0 thrashing of Palermo last time out. Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko each scored a brace as 5-star Roma rolled over Palermo at the Stadio Olimpico last Sunday. The win moves the Giallorossi into fourth place on the table, just two points behind third-place Fiorentina and eight points behind leaders Juventus. The away win is tipped. 

15/20 AC Milan | 26/10 | Torino 37/10 (21:45) 

AC Milan battled back from 1-0 down to earn a well-deserved 1-1 draw at Napoli on Monday night, extending their unbeaten run to eight matches. Torino have managed just one win from their last seven matches after a disappointing goalless draw on home soil against relegation-threatened Carpi last Sunday. Their record against Milan doesn’t bode well as they are without a victory against their opponents in the last 16 meetings. The home win is tipped confidently.  

Sunday 28 February

16/10 Palermo | 21/10 | Bologna 18/10 (13:30) 

Palermo extended their winless run to five matches with back-to-back defeats, including two home losses on the bounce. They were annihilated 5-0 at Roma last Sunday, a defeat which could put a serious dent in their confidence. Bologna on the other hand put an end to Juventus' 15 match winning streak last Friday night, holding the champions to a hard-fought and brave goalless draw. The Greyhounds are looking far more solid at present than Palermo, making the Win/Draw Double Chance on the away team a decent wager at 9/20.

13/10 Carpi | 21/10 | Atalanta 22/10 (16:00) 

Carpi ground out a goalless draw at Torino to keep alive their bid to survive. The promoted side are now only five points from safety and can take heart from an encouraging defensive display at the Stadio Olimpico. Atalanta come into this one off the back of a disappointing 3-2 home defeat against Fiorentina, stretching their run without a victory to nine matches. Carpi have scored just 23 goals in 26 matches, whilst Atalanta aren’t much better with 25 in 26 games. Under 2.5 Goals is the way to go at 11/20.  

21/10 Chievo | 21/10 | Genoa 14/10 (16:00) 

Chievo lost 3-1 to bottom-dwellers Hellas Verona last Saturday, making it four defeats from their last six matches for the Flying Donkeys. Genoa came from a goal down to earn a well-deserved 2-1 victory at home against Udinese last time out. They lie just three points below their opponents, and just like Chievo, they have managed only one victory from their last six matches. However, both sides seem to leak goals, so Both Teams To Score will be a good bet at 19/20.  

13/20 Sampdoria | 3/1 | Frosinone 42/10 (16:00) 

Sampdoria have been in horrific form in recent weeks which includes six losses from their last eight matches, as they lie just two points above the relegation zone. They will take on Frosinone who are also fighting for survival. The newcomers held Lazio to a goalless draw last Sunday at Stadio Matusa. With Sampdoria and Frosinone both desperate to find some kind of form, Both Teams To Score is the way to go at 7/10.   

9/10 Udinese | 5/2 | Hellas Verona 31/10 (19:00) 

Udinese are without a win in their last eight matches, including two consecutive defeats. Hellas Verona claimed only their second win of the season last weekend, helping themselves to a convincing 3-1 victory over Chievo. Udinese have been terrible on their ground, scoring just eight goals in 12 travels and Verona are yet to win a game on the road, scoring only nine goals in their 12 games. Back the Under 2.5 Goals market at 15/20.   

6/10 Juventus | 27/10 | Inter Milan 5/1 (21:45)

Juventus dropped points for the first time in 16 league matches as Bologna held the Serie A leaders to a goalless draw at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. The Old Lady had won every league game since an October 28 loss to Sassuolo - and 15 straight in all competitions -- but created little in their stalemate in northern Italy. Inter Milan returned to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Sampdoria at the San Siro last Saturday. The win should boost the team morale, but an encounter with the in-form Juventus could kill off any momentum the Milan-based club were starting to build. Juve look unstoppable at present and they are tipped to take maximum points at 6/10.    

Monday 29 February

15/20 Lazio | 26/10 | Sassuolo 38/10 (20:00) 

Lazio have been fairly decent on their ground but have lacked the cutting edge to maintain winning form this season. However, they have a good record against Sassuolo in recent meetings, winning three of the last four encounters, including two home wins on the bounce. Sassuolo have registered just one victory from their last eight games and their record away from home doesn’t read well as they have managed just four wins from 13 travels. The home win should be backed.  

2/1 Fiorentina | 23/10 | Napoli 13/10 (22:00) 

Fiorentina held off the threat of Champions League rivals Inter Milan in a dramatic 3-2 win at Atalanta that saw second-half goals from Matias Fernandez, Cristian Tello and Nikola Kalinic. The Viola remain third with six points behind log-leaders Juventus – the victory stretching their unbeaten run to six matches, including four wins. Napoli missed the chance to reclaim first place from Juventus after being held to a 1-1 Serie A draw by AC Milan at the Stadio San Paolo. They are now without a win in their last three matches in all competitions, scoring just once. However, it should be just a slight dip in form for the Serie A’s top scoring team. Fiorentina are another team that pride themselves on attacking football. Both Teams To Score can be found at 15/20. 

Serie A Picks
Roma WIN 17/20
AC Milan WIN 15/20
Bologna WIN/DRAW 9/20
Carpi UNDER 2.5 GOALS 11/20
Chievo BTTS 19/20
Sampdoria BTTS 7/10
Udinese UNDER 2.5 GOALS 15/20
Juventus WIN 6/10
Lazio WIN 15/20
Fiorentina BTTS 15/20 

Written by Aaron Crowie