Italian Serie A Preview

The Serie A title race is over - Juventus were crowned champions of Italy after Napoli failed to beat Roma on Monday night. It completes a stunning rise for the Turin side, who were in 12th place and 11 points off the top on 28 October 2015. It’s not to say there won’t be any more competitive matches as the race for second-place looks set to go down to the wire, with Napoli just a mere two points clear of Roma. Further down the table, Hellas Verona were the first team confirmed relegated, but who will follow? Frosinone and Palermo are favourites for the drop, but Carpi are only three points clear of the dog box. Will there be yet another twist in the tale? Let’s find out.

Saturday 30 April

19/20 Udinese | Draw 5/2 | Torino 3/1 (18:00)

Udinese made Serie A history for the wrong reasons last Saturday. Between themselves and Inter Milan, it was the first time ever in the Italian top flight that neither side fielded a home grown player in the starting 11. That encounter finished 3-1 in favour of Inter – making it just two wins from their last eight matches for Udinese. Torino come to town off the back of a 3-1 defeat at Sasuolo. That was a second loss in as many weeks for the Turin based club. This one should go down to the wire - nine of the last 10 meetings producing Under 2.5 Goals. Follow the trend at 8/10.

26/10 Chievo | 24/10 | Fiorentina 21/20 (20:45)

Chievo’s unbeaten run of six matches came to an end last Sunday after falling to a 1-0 defeat at Atalanta. However, they return to their home patch, where they have won their last three matches, scoring nine goals and conceding only twice. Fiorentina have been terrible in recent weeks, suffering three losses from their last four matches, including back-to-back defeats. They have an impressive record against their opponents, winning the last seven meetings in all competitions. In spite of that, Chievo have been far better in recent weeks and are tipped to get something out of this encounter – back them on the Double Chance at 7/10.

Sunday 1 May

3/10 Juventus | 42/10 | Carpi 92/10 (12:30)

Juventus were crowned Serie A champions for a fifth season in a row after Napoli's 1-defeat at Roma. Last Sunday's 2-1 victory at Fiorentina put them on the brink of glory, and Napoli's failure to win on Monday meant Juve can no longer be caught. On October 28th last year, Juventus were all but dead and buried. However, tallying an absolutely insane 73 points out of a possible 75 from 25 unbeaten matches earned them a record fifth consecutive Serie A title and, maybe most astonishingly, it came on the heels of the worst start in the club’s history. Their opponents, Carpi, fired three points clear of the Serie A relegation zone by settling a 1-0 victory over Empoli that relegated Hellas Verona. There is the chance Juventus could field a make shift side, and with Carpi still looking to survive the drop, they could make this a quite a cagey affair. Nevertheless, the Old Lady will most likely want to give their die-hard fans something to smile about at the end of the game. Juve haven’t conceded a goal on their ground in 2016. Back the Home Win To Nil market (Yes) at 9/10.

1/4 AC Milan | 5/1 | Frosinone 10/1 (15:00)

AC Milan succumbed to an embarrassing 2-1 defeat away to Verona on Monday afternoon as their hopes of qualifying for Europe were thrown into doubt once again. The Rossoneri put in a tired, ambivalent performance as they lost to a side who had previously won just three of 34 league games this season and had lost four of their last five. Relegation-bound Frosinone fell to a disappointing 2-0 defeat on their ground against Palermo – who are just two points above them in 18th place. It was Frosinone’s fifth loss from their last seven matches and second defeat on the bounce. However, Milan are looking fragile and weak at present and are there for the taking. Go for Frosinone on the Handicap (+1) at 28/10.

5/4 Empoli | 23/10 | Bologna 9/4 (15:00)

Empoli will play host to Bologna on Sunday afternoon eager to return to winning ways following their 1-0 defeat at Carpi on Monday – their third consecutive loss on the road without scoring a goal. They will, however, return to their ground, where they have won back-to-back games. Bologna got back on track by pushing Genoa aside 2-0 thanks to Emanuele Giaccherini and Sergio Floccari – ending a winless streak of nine matches. Empoli’s last eight matches have seen just Under 2.5 Goals, whilst five of the last six games have gone the same way for Bologna. Follow the pattern and get on Under 2.5 Goals at 15/20.

9/10 Palermo | 26/10 | Sampdoria 3/1 (15:00)

Palermo earned a crucial away win over relegation rivals Frosinone, winning 2-0 thanks to a pair of second-half strikes from Alberto Gilardino and Aleksandar Trajkovski – ending a winless run of seven matches. Sampdoria battled to a well-deserved 2-1 home win against Lazio last Sunday afternoon. However, they have struggled to maintain winning form all season, as they lie 14th on the table. Seven of the last 10 meetings between Palermo and Sampdoria have seen both sides find the back of the net. Take Both Teams To Score at 7/10.

6/10 Sassuolo | 32/10 | Hellas Verona 9/2 (15:00)

Sassuolo maintained their pursuit of a Europa League place by beating Torino 3-1 at the Stadio Olimpico. The Neroverdi are now just one point behind sixth-placed AC Milan after goals from Nicola Sansone, Federico Peluso and Marcello Trotta delivered a 13th win of the season. Luca Siligardi's last-gasp free kick earned Hellas Verona a brief stay of execution in Serie A as AC Milan were stunned 2-1 at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi. It would turn out to be a bittersweet day for Verona, however, as 17th-placed Carpi's later 1-0 victory over Empoli confirmed the Gialloblu were destined to return to Serie B. Hellas Verona’s season is all but over, but Sassuolo still got the Europa League to try and gun down. A straightforward home win will suffice.

15/10 Lazio | 24/10 | Inter Milan 18/10 (20:45)

Antonio Candreva had a penalty saved as Lazio were beaten 2-1 in a chaotic visit to Sampdoria this past Sunday. It was their second defeat on the spin, which doesn’t bode well for their chances against Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri have won three of their last four matches, including back-to-back wins at the San Siro stadium. Lazio did manage to edge the reverse tie 2-1, so Inter will be looking to avenge that defeat. Back Inter on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 5/10.

Monday 2 May

4/1 Genoa | 3/1 | Roma 13/20 (19:00)

Although Genoa lost 2-0 at Bologna last Sunday, they will gladly return to their fortress where they have won five matches on the trot, scoring 11 goals and conceding just twice. Roma have put themselves back in the chase for second place after Radja Nainggolan scored a brilliant late goal to beat Champions League rivals Napoli 1-0 - handing Juventus the Serie A title in the process. Napoli needed to win to keep the title race going but Roma proved too difficult an opponent to overcome and are now within two points of second-placed Napoli, who occupy the final automatic Champions League place. Roma have won the seven of the last eight meetings against their opponents, including three on the spin without conceding. However, Genoa have a top record at home against their opponents, winning five of the last seven encounters between the sides. Rather take Both Teams To Score at 7/10.

2/11 Napoli | 6/1 | Atalanta 13/1 (21:00)

We round off gameweek 36 with Napoli playing host to Atalanta. Napoli’s 1-0 loss to Roma last time out saw their chances evaporate, with Juventus clinching a fifth-straight Scudetto with three games left to play. Nevertheless, the Azzurri will return to home soil, where they have been brilliant in recent weeks with four wins on the spin, scoring a colossal 15 goals and conceding just twice. Ten-man Atalanta held firm to ensure Marco Borriello's goal earned all three points against Chievo in Bergamo. La Dea are now nine points clear of the Serie A relegation zone with only three games remaining. Napoli might be disheartened following their defeat to Roma which handed Juventus the title, but they still have an automatic Champions League spot to fight for. Atalanta do have goals in them, and have proved a difficult opponent against Napoli in the past. Get on the home Win + Both Teams To Score Matchbet at 15/10.

Serie A Picks
Udinese UNDER 2.5 GOALS 8/10
Chievo WIN/DRAW 7/10
Juventus WIN TO NIL 9/10
Frosinone HANDICAP (+1) 28/10
Empoli UNDER 2.5 GOALS 15/20
Palermo BTTS 7/10
Sassuolo WIN 6/10
Inter Milan WIN/DRAW 5/10
Genoa BTTS 7/10
Napoli WIN+BTTS 15/10 

Written by Aaron Crowie