This week we head to Rome for another of Serie A’s giant derbies; the Derby della Capitale. Two weekends ago Juventus ran rampant over a Torino side that at least had the pleasure of ending Buffon’s superb run of clean sheets courtesy of an Andrea Belotti penalty. Gigi Buffon later paid tribute to each of his Juventus team-mates but must be quietly cursing at the way Alex Sandro hauled down Bruno Peres.
Without a win in five derbies, Lazio can still recall their 1-0 triumph in the 2013 Coppa Italia final plus a memorable double the season before as recent highs. They arrive in lukewarm form, hanging on for a point in Milan last time out but with just three wins in ten. Goals have been hard to come by since a dismantling of Verona in February and their strikers have been out-shone by Andrea Candreva and Felipe Anderson throughout the season. Alessandro Matri’s form has been patchy at best but with two goals against Atalanta, Miroslav Klose hinted ever-so-slightly at a return to form. His 93rd minute winner in this fixture in 2011 guarantees he will be fondly remembered. Age is no obstacle in Serie A but relying on the 37-year old for goals suggests things could be better for the Biancocelesti.
Roma can still boast fantastic form but were slow starting when drawing 1-1 with Inter. The international break – which saw Italy dispatched 4-1 by Germany – has the potential to interrupt Roma’s rhythm and Luciano Spalletti must make sure his side are ready for a fight when they meet their neighbours on Sunday. If there was ever a match to recall Francesco Totti this could be it – his 11 goals in the fixture contribute to his lofty status at the club. In spite of Roma’s unbeaten run Lazio offer some value at 23/10. I’m tempted to back against Roma this weekend for the first time in 2016. Stefano Pioli will do his best to breath new life into his misfiring side and there could be an upset on the cards. A Lazio double chance bet is priced at 4/6.
Sassuolo are still enjoying life in Serie A but a trip to Carpi has never looked harder. Unbeaten in five home games, Carpi’s plight for safety is looking more realistic each week. After an away win against Verona they have clawed their way out of the relegation zone but holding off Palermo will be no mean feat. Sunday’s game intrigues and though Sassuolo appeal at 6/4 I’ll be going for an over 2.5 goals result, priced at 11/8.
Chievo vs. Palermo is the other important game in the Serie A relegation fight. In Chievo’s last game a Riccardo Meggiorini goal fired them to their tenth win of the season but Palermo know they are desperate for points. I’ll be on the draw at 21/10 whilst under 2.5 goals can be included at 4/6.
At the top of the table Juventus have a chance to increase their lead over Napoli and it would be a huge shock if Empoli return home from Turin with any points. Both Buffon and Leonardo Bonucci played in the comprehensive Germany defeat but surely this is irrelevant in their return to club football? Napoli have the harder game and should be made to fight for victory at Udinese. A Juventus win can be found at 3/10, whilst Napoli are 10/21.
Last year’s thirteenth place finishers, Verona now look sentenced to certain relegation. Bologna need a win and should see off the Serie A strugglers at 17/20.
Win Treble @ 5.3
Double @ 5.18
Goals Double @ 3.82
(Odds correct as of 31/03)