Italian Serie A Preview

The Serie A has exceeded its expectation this season with the league still wide open. Usually Juventus are starting to pull clear by now, but that is not the case. The Old Lady are just three points clear at the top of the table with all still to play for. Napoli have shown a recent dip in form, but with a home game against Chievo, they are likely to return to winning ways. Roma have been brilliant in recent weeks, claiming six wins on the spin, whilst Fiorentina remain dark horses in fourth spot, to cause a highly unlikely upset. The bid for survival is also far from over, but at the moment, Frosinone, Carpi and Hellas Verona occupy the bottom-three. There is still much more surprises to come, money to be made and value tips to be found. Let’s find out what Gameweek 28 has in store. 

Friday 4 March

21/20 Roma | Draw 24/10 | Fiorentina 27/10 (21:45)

Stephan El Shaarawy scored twice as Roma made it six Serie A wins in a row by beating Empoli to renew their title hopes. Roma have found form since sacking Rudi Garcia and hiring Luciano Spalletti in January, and they are now within eight points of leaders Juventus. Fiorentina extended their undefeated run to seven matches with a hard-fought 1-1 draw on home soil against Napoli on Monday evening. Both teams are on form at the moment, but Roma are looking much more convincing, and with home advantage, they are tipped to get the job done. The home Win + Both Teams To Score is priced up at a valuable 28/10. 

Saturday 5 March

31/20 Hellas Verona | 24/10 | Sampdoria 7/4 (19:00)

Hellas Verona coach Luigi Delneri maintains that his side will continue to fight for Serie A survival, despite continuing to prop up the table. The Mastini were defeated 2-0 at the hands of Udinese and the 65-year-old recognizes that his side needs to improve quickly. Sampdoria returned to winning ways with a 2-0 home win over relegation-bound Frosinone and are now five points off the drop. However, they have registered just one win from 13 travels. Both Teams To Score is tipped at 13/20. 

2/11 Napoli | 57/10 | Chievo 14/1 (21:45) 

Napoli failed to move within a point of Serie A leaders Juventus as their hopes of winning a first title since 1990 were hampered by a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina on Monday night. They will be to happy return to their ground this weekend, where they remain unbeaten, winning 10 of their 13 matches, scoring 28 goals and conceding just nine times.  A solitary Lucas Castro goal fired Chievo back into the top half of the Serie A table as Genoa went down 1-0 at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi. Chievo have actually looked better away from home this term, but they will need to be at their very best if they are to stop Napoli from running riot. I expect Napoli to get a convincing win and since they are priced up short at 2/11, rather back the Home Team To Score In Both Halves at 7/10.   

Sunday 6 March

29/20 Torino | 21/10 | Lazio 2/1 (13:30) 

Torino fell to a 1-0 defeat at AC Milan last Saturday evening. They are now scoreless in back-to-back matches and will be desperate to find some sort of form. Lazio showed their lack of consistency on Monday evening as they were taught a lesson in football by Sassuolo, going down 2-0 in front of their own fans. They have scored just 11 goals in 13 travels, a record which doesn’t bode too well on the betting front. With both teams struggling to find the back of the net of late, I would suggest backing the Under 2.5 Goals market at 13/20.  

6/1 Atalanta | 29/10 | Juventus 5/10 (16:00) 

Atalanta settled for a 1-1 draw at relegation-threatened Carpi. The Nerazzurri are without a win in their last eight matches, which include six draws and two defeats. Juventus consolidated their lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan, decided by Leonardo Bonucci’s volley and an Alvaro Morata penalty. February has seen the reigning champions catch up to, and then finally overhaul free-scoring Napoli, but they were only one point clear of the southerners heading into the 27th round of games. The Old Lady are unbeaten in 16 matches in all competitions and it’s highly doubtful that run will come to an end here. The away team is tipped.  

19/20 Bologna | 9/4 | Carpi 33/10 (16:00)

Bologna have conceded only once in their last five matches, which includes a goalless draw at home to champions Juventus. Relegation-threatened Carpi is next up to try and breach Bologna’s solid defence. However, they are winless in their last six matches and have managed just one victory from 13 travels, scoring 10 goals. The reverse fixture ended 2-1 in favour of Bologna and they are tipped to pull the double over their opponents. 

24/10 Frosinone | 24/10 | Udinese 11/10 (16:00) 

New boys Frosinone are coming off a 2-0 defeat away to Sampdoria. The newcomers have the worst defensive record in the league, conceding 53 goals in 27 games, while their goalscoring record hasn’t been good either, as they have netted just 26 times. Udinese struck a blow to Hellas Verona's unlikely Serie A survival bid last time out by beating the basement boys 2-0 at the Stadio Friuli. The victory also ended a run of eight matches without a win for Udinese and that will surely give the team a boost in confidence. Back the away team to edge the win.  

19/20 Genoa | 24/10 | Empoli 3/1 (16:00) 

Genoa suffered their third defeat from five matches last time out after falling to a disheartening 1-0 loss at Chievo. They are now just five points off the drop and they will be hungry to find their best form here. Empoli come to town and they do so without a win in their last eight games, including three consecutive losses. The last 10 meetings between the teams have seen Under 2.5 Goals, and with the pair battling to record positive results, it would be best to follow the trend at 13/20.  

23/10 Sassuolo | 22/10 | AC Milan 5/4 (16:00)

Manager Eusebio Di Francesco saw “the perfect” Sassuolo performance after a 2-0 victory away to Lazio secured seventh place, as he put it. The Neroverdi emerged with three points from the Stadio Olimpico thanks to Domenico Berardi’s penalty and a Gregoire Defrel goal. Sassuolo are now just six points behind their opponents. AC Milan extended their unbeaten run to 11 games in all competitions by beating visitors Torino 1-0 to leave them sixth on the log with 47 points. A cagey affair is expected in what is usually a goal fest between the two teams. The last six meetings between Sassuolo and Milan have produced Over 2.5 Goals, so that will be worth a punt at 11/10. 

1/4 Inter Milan | 47/10 | Palermo 92/10 (21:45) 

Inter Milan may have suffered a 2-0 defeat at reigning champions Juventus last weekend, but they return to their ground where they have won back-to-back matches. Palermo stretched their run without a victory to six matches last time out, as they are held to a dour goalless draw at home to Bologna. Inter have a superb record at home against their opponents, claiming five wins from the last six meetings. The home win should be backed.

Serie A Picks
Roma WIN + BTTS 28/10
Hellas Verona BTTS 13/20
Torino UNDER 2.5 GOALS 13/20
Juventus WIN 5/10
Bologna WIN 19/20
Udinese WIN 11/10
Genoa UNDER 2.5 GOALS 13/20
Sassuolo OVER 2.5 GOALS 11/10
Inter Milan WIN 1/4 

Written by Aaron Crowie