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Italian Serie A Preview

Juventus remain in the driving seat to claim a record sixth consecutive title in the Serie A.
Juventus remain in the driving seat to claim a record sixth consecutive title in the Serie A.
With each passing week Juventus take a step closer to claiming the Scudetto for a record sixth consecutive season. Napoli and Roma are still in the hunt for the title, but the Old Lady remains in the driving seat as expected. The bottom-three teams will face a stern test in clawing their way out of the relegation zone, with 17th-placed, Empoli, eight points clear of the drop. Nonetheless, there is still 14 rounds of Serie A football to go, so let’s enjoy it while it lasts.

*Please note that this article was written prior to midweek fixtures.

Friday 10 February

3/10 Napoli | Draw 9/2 | Genoa 15/2 (21:45)

Gameweek 24 gets underway on Friday evening with free-scoring Napoli playing host to a wounded Genoa side. The Azzurri will be flying high after thrashing Bologna 7-1 in their own back yard – the biggest Serie A win recorded this season – with Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens both grabbing themselves a hat-trick. Genoa find themselves battered and bruised following a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Sassuolo. The loss extends a winless run of seven matches, including five defeats and two draws. I highly doubt they will have much luck against Napoli either. Back the home team on the (-1) Handicap at 15/20.

Saturday 11 February

6/10 Fiorentina | 28/10 | Udinese 17/4 (21:45)

Prior to Fiorentina’s encounter with Udinese, the Viola will take on Roma on Tuesday evening, so tread carefully. Fiorentina remain unbeaten at home this season, but the draws are starting to stack up and it’s costing them valuable points in their hunt of the European places. Udinese have lacked consistency and a certain cutting edge this term. Their away form has been terrible, with just three victories from 11 matches. Fiorentina have won the last nine meetings at home against Udinese and I’m backing them to make it 10. Get on the Matchbet – Fiorentina Win & Both Teams to Score at 7/4.

Sunday 12 February

7/1 Crotone | 4/1 | Roma 7/20 (13:30)

Crotone and Roma will lock horns in Sunday’s opening Serie A fixture. Both teams have tough midweek clashes with Crotone taking on table-toppers Juventus, while Roma square off against Fiorentina. Relegation-bound Crotone have been putting up some decent performances up on home soil in recent weeks and the newcomers will be looking to upset the applecart against Roma. Call me crazy, but I don’t think it’s impossible. Roma have been dodgy on the road and their opponents will hope to exploit that. In the reverse tie, Roma thumped Crotone 4-0 but with both teams facing tough midweek competition, I’m expecting a low-scoring affair. Take Under 2.5 Goals at 27/20.

7/20 Torino | 15/4 | Pescara 7/1 (16:00)

Torino are without a victory in their last five matches with four stalemates. However, they will have the perfect chance to get back to winning ways with a home game against the league’s bottom-dwellers – Pescara. The Biancazzurri have claimed just one victory from 23 matches, scoring 19 goals and conceding 50 times, including five losses on the spin. All five of those matches saw Over 2.5 Goals and with Torino offering little value for the win, I’m sticking to the trend and getting on the Totals market at 6/10.

31/10 Palermo | 5/2 | Atalanta 17/20 (16:00)

Palermo will come into this match with a bit of confidence following a much-needed first home win of the season – a 1-0 victory over fellow relegation-contenders Crotone. Atalanta, on the other hand, claimed a 2-0 home win over Cagliari, with Alejandro Gomez bagging a first-half brace. Palermo pulled off a shock 1-0 victory in the reverse tie and will be looking to claim the double here. They will give it a go but Atalanta’s form of four wins from six games, coupled with their eye out for revenge, could result in an entertaining contest. I’m expecting goals here as well, so get on the 1st Half Totals – Over 1.5 Goals – at 17/10!

9/10 Sassuolo | 24/10 | Chievo 3/1 (16:00)

Sassuolo will welcome Chievo to the Mapei Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The home side have won three of their last four matches, including a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Genoa last time out, whilst Chievo have been dismal with four losses from their last six games. Past meetings between the sides have seen cagey contests with a lack of goals – seven of the last eight meetings producing Under 2.5 Goals. As a result, I would suggest taking Both Halves Under 1.5 Goals at 5/4.

3/10 Inter Milan | 17/4 | Empoli 9/1 (16:00)

Inter Milan’s tremendous winning run of seven league games came to a holt last time out with Juventus putting in a spirited performance to grind out a 1-0 victory. Their opponents this week, Empoli, have travelled poorly with just one win from 11 matches, scoring six goals and conceding 15 times. Inter have won eight of their 11 home games this season and have a superb record against Empoli. I can only see one result here and that’s a win for the home team. Inter are priced up at 3/10, so if you looking for more value like myself, get on the Half-time/Full-time win at 15/20.

9/10 Sampdoria | 24/10 | Bologna 3/1 (19:00)

In the penultimate match of the weekend, Sampdoria will take on Bologna looking to make it three wins on the spin after earning a well-deserved 1-0 victory over AC Milan at the iconic San Siro Stadium. Bologna were humiliated on home soil last weekend as Napoli ran riot with a brilliant 7-1 victory. At the time of writing, Bologna still have to play AC Milan – a match that will surely leave them exhausted for their clash against Sampdoria. The home win is on the cards – add to all multiples!

7/1 Cagliari | 38/10 | Juventus 7/20 (21:45)

We round off an action-packed Serie A Sunday with defending champions Juventus making a trip to Cagliari. The hosts may lie 14th on the table, but they have been fairly decent on their ground with seven wins from 11 matches. Juventus look unstoppable and Cagliari are just another team standing in their way of reclaiming the title for a record sixth season. The Old Lady are unbeaten in the last 13 meetings with the Rossoblu and are tipped to build on that. I’m going for another (-1) Handicap victory here, with Juve tipped at 19/20.

Monday 13 February

1/1 Lazio | 49/20 | AC Milan 26/10 (16:00)

Last but not least, gameweek 24 ends with Lazio and AC Milan locking horns in what promises to be a cracking contest. The Biancocelesti are off the back of 6-2 win away to Pescara and will gladly return to their fortress where they have won eight of their 12 home games. AC Milan have been down and out of luck in recent weeks with three losses on the trot. They were disappointing at the weekend after going down 1-0 on their own turf to Sampdoria and must still travel to Bologna for a midweek battle, at the time of writing. Milan are bound to get back to winning ways, whether it’s against Bologna or Lazio is beyond me, but I do believe they have the firepower to find the back of the net against the latter. Both Teams to Score should be backed at 7/10.

TREBLE @ 10/1
Palermo vs Atalanta 1st Half Totals – Over 1.5 Goals 17/10
Sassuolo vs Chievo Both Halves Under 1.5 Goals 5/4
Sampdoria Win 9/10

Written by Aaron Crowie