Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: Italian Serie A: Gameweek 20 Preview

Italian Serie A: Gameweek 20 Preview

Victor Osimhen and Matthijs de Ligt

The Italian Serie A returns to our screens with a mouth-watering set of fixtures set to entertain football purists on Thursday. Juventus host Napoli, while AC Milan and Roma square off in the pick of the round’s action.

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Thursday 6 January

Bologna 44/10
Draw 7/2
Inter Milan 5/10
(13:30)

Bologna entertain the defending champions and log leaders Inter Milan hoping to earn their first victory at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara since suffering defeats to Fiorentina and Juventus.

The Rossoblu (The Red and Blues) ended 2021 with an unlikely 3-0 win over Sassuolo, snapping a three-game losing streak and have a fight on their hands in Thursday’s early kick-off in northern Italy.

Inter Milan are the best bet at 5/10 odds, manager Simone Inzaghi and striker Lautaro Martinez have stepped into the shoes of Antonio Conte and Romelu Lukaku and have won nine of their past 10 Serie A matches, last dropping points in the 1-1 stalemate with second-placed AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina.

The Argentine spearhead is forming a formidable partnership with Edin Dzeko and both players in the Anytime Goalscorer market offers decent value. However, with the last meeting between these side ending 6-1 to Inter Milan, my money is on Totals Away Team: Over 3.5 Goals at 37/10.

Sampdoria 17/20
Draw 28/10
Cagliari 3/1
(13:30)

Sampdoria come into the clash priced up as favourites following a decent display in December which saw the hosts beat Genoa (3-1) and Torino (2-1) before earning back-to-back (1-1) draws against Venezia and Roma within the space of three days.

It hasn’t been easy for Cagliari who’ve won just once in 19 league games. With only 20th-placed Salernitana having scored fewer Serie A goals than coach Walter Mazzarri’s men, the home win is expected, while Both Teams To Score (Yes) would be the safest play at 13/20, although my search for value suggests First Half – Both Teams To Score (Yes) is well worth a punt at 3/1.

Lazio 6/10
Draw 33/10
Empoli 4/1
(15:30)

Moving on to the lunch-time fixture where Maurizio Sarri’s free-scoring Lazio are odds on favourites to make light work of Empoli and claim their seventh consecutive win over the visitors at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

The Eagles have scored 15 goals in their last five league games, tallying three victories and a draw in the process. Meanwhile, Empoli come off a 4-2 loss to title-chasing AC Milan.

Patrick Cutrone upset the applecart in Naples by scoring the solitary goal of the game, earning a 1-0 win over much-fancied Napoli and proving Empoli are capable of grinding out results on their day.

I can’t see past a home win, although Lazio & Over 3.5 Goals piques my interest at 47/20.

Spezia 22/10
Draw 49/20
Hellas Verona 12/10
(15:30)

Spezia were the cause of much pain last gameweek in Serie A with bet slips falling left, right and centre following the new boys claiming a 1-0 victory against Napoli at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona via an own goal.

The win earned coach Thiago Motta some breathing space after a dismal seven-game winless streak as the club from Liguria are precariously hovering above the relegation zone, five-points ahead of Genoa, Cagliari and Salernitana.

Hellas Verona, on the other hand, will be eyeing this clash as an opportune moment to claim maximum points. The Yellow and Blues’ only victory in the past six games was away in Venice against newly promoted Venezia in a 4-3 humdinger.

Spezia have been defensively solid at the Stadio Alberto Picco and I’m expecting a cagey first-half of football. The Half-Time: Draw option is priced at 12/10, but I’m going brave and select 0-0 in the First-Half: Correct Score market at 39/20.

Atalanta 11/20
Draw 33/10
Torino 44/10
(17:30)

Atalanta entertain Torino in Bergamo with victory seeing Gian Piero Gasperini’s team leapfrogging Napoli into third position and have every chance of ending this round closer to the title-chasing pack with Juventus playing host to Napoli.

Jose Mourinho’s Roma ran riot in their last match in the North East which would have fans eager to remove the memory of the 4-1 humbling against a Torino outfit who’ve been horrendous on their travels.

On the road, Torino are winless in their previous seven games, suffering five defeats, while failing to score in each of those defeats. Atalanta on the (-1) Handicap at 14/10 and Home Win To Nil (Yes) at 33/20 are my suggestions, the choice is yours.

Sassuolo 11/20
Draw 33/10
Genoa 42/10
(17:30)

Relegation-strugglers Genoa make the trip north to lock horns with Sassuolo who are eager to finish the season off strongly and get back to winning ways. The hosts suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Bologna which ended their 2021 on a sour note but have enough time to remedy the situation.

Personally, I enjoy watching the hosts more when Jeremie Boga starts and I feel they possess much more threat to opposition with the Ivorian speedster in the team. Meanwhile, Genoa have an uphill task on their hands after winning just once from the first round of league action.

Goals are guaranteed in this encounter, Multiscores is the market, select 5-6 Goals at 29/10, although if you’re playing it safer Over 2.5 Goals is a banker at 11/20 (a better bet than the home win).

AC Milan 9/10
Draw 26/10
Roma 28/10
(19:30)

AC Milan and Roma are set to serve up a mouth-watering contest under the instructions of veteran managers Stefano Pioli and Jose Mourinho.

Following a 1-1 draw away at Udinese and their third Serie A defeat of the season at the hands of Napoli (1-0), AC Milan went on to take out their frustrations at Empoli, claiming maximum points thanks to a Franck Kessie brace which set the tone for the 4-2 win at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.

Kessie is a key player in the heart of the Rossoneri midfield and will be a huge loss if Ivory Coast go all the way during AFCON 2022 in Cameroon, which ends in February, meaning the dynamic midfielder will possibly also miss clashes vital clashes against Juventus (23rd January) and Inter Milan (6th February).

A late Manolo Gabbiadini strike for Sampdoria dampened Mourinho’s spirits in the 1-1 stalemate prior to the short break, a few days after Roma annihilated Atalanta 4-1. The visitors blow hot and cold on their travels with four wins and four losses this season.

Take AC Milan to claim their third straight victory over Roma.

Salernitana 39/20
Draw 9/4
Venezia 29/20
(19:30)

Salernitana and Venezia lock horns in a six-pointer between the two newly promoted clubs. The hosts are rooted to the foot of the table and last earned a win against Venezia, which was their only victory in 11 league matches, having lost nine times.

Venezia manager Paolo Zanetti has seen his team endure a tough spell of results, coming into this clash winless in six games, suffering four losses which has them from Venice, six points above the relegation zone in 16th position.

If you’re going to have a punt, Venezia are the team to select.

Fiorentina 8/10
Draw 11/4
Udinese 32/10
(21:45)

Following three successive wins, Fiorentina went on to draw back-to-back games with Sassuolo and Hellas Verona. The Violets are unbeaten in 13 league meetings against Udinese at the Stadio Artemio Franchi and are likely to continue that trend as striker Dusan Vlahovic leads the goalscoring charts with 16 goals to his name.

Udinese have been underwhelming since Argentine midfielder Rodrigo de Paul signed to Atletico Madrid and forward Stefano Okaka left for Istanbul Basaksehir at the end of last season. I’m all in on Fiorentina at 8/10.

Juventus 21/20
Draw 24/10
Napoli 26/10
(21:45)

Juventus and Napoli take centre stage in the final match of the evening as the heavyweight clash of the night to finish off a main event boxing card. Juve has to earn back their number one contender status before taking back their championship.

Right now, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Napoli and Atalanta are ahead of the Old Lady in the standings. Napoli, on the other hand, will be desperate to get back to winning ways after five league games that saw manager Luciano Spalletti’s troops taste three defeats to Atalanta, Empoli and Spezia leading to the visitors eventually surrendering top spot in the process.

Back Juve to make home advantage count at the Allianz Stadium.

MULTIPLE @ 32,981/1
Bologna vs Inter Milan Totals Away Team: Over 3.5 Goals 37/10
Sampdoria vs Cagliari First Half: BTTS (Yes) 3/1
Lazio Win & Over 3.5 Goals 47/20
Spezia vs Hellas Verona First-Half: Correct Score (0-0) 39/20
Atalanta Home Win To Nil 33/20
Sassuolo vs Genoa – Multiscores: 5-6 Goals 29/10
AC Milan Win 9/10
Venezia Win 29/20
Fiorentina Win 8/10
Juventus Win 21/20

Written by Venal Naidu