Last weekend Roma marched past bitter rivals Lazio putting four past Federico Marchetti and bringing the curtain down on Stefano Pioli’s tenure at the club. I got this game completely wrong with Luciano Spalletti’s well-drilled side continuing their surge. Roma’s final two goals came in the dying minutes of the match but in truth they outclassed a dejected Lazio from start to finish. I’ll be firmly back behind Roma this Serie A weekend – they’re 7/20 to beat a Bologna side that crumbled at home on Monday night.
Following Napoli’s defeat to Udinese, Juventus sit six points clear at the head of the table. This weekend they go to Milan in a fixture that would have decided titles (and on one occasion the Champions League) in the early 2000s. Should they pocket three points in Milan there’s not a lot left to trouble them this season; home games against Palermo, Lazio, Carpi and Sampdoria, plus visits to Verona and Fiorentina.
Milan’s threat is decidedly blunter these days. Whilst their squad is packed with talent (Carlos Bacca, Luiz Adriano, Jeremy Menez) they lack the direction and leadership that typified each of their line-ups for the best part of two decades. It’s with both hope and expectation that Milan now look to Italians Andrea Bertolacci, Giacomo Bonaventura and Gianluigi Donnarumma. The last man on that list is the sensational 17-year old goalie who may one day prove himself Gianluigi Buffon’s rightful heir.
Some believe Milan will always have a chance against Juventus but the reality is much gloomier. Without a win in four games for the first time this season, the match comes at entirely the wrong time for Milan. A defeat could see them slip to seventh and this looks the most likely result. If you don’t fancy calling it, under 2.5 goals can be taken at 11/10. The ‘Old Lady’ don’t concede many and have hit three goals just once since the end of January.
Sassuolo meet Genoa in what I expect to be a good game. Sassuolo saw off Carpi last weekend and are slowly cementing themselves as one of the better teams in the league. The goals lost in Simone Zaza’s departure have been shared amongst Domenico Berardi, Nicola Sansone and French striker Gregoire Defrel. Genoa are finding the net more freely these days and off the back of a tidy Suso hatrick last weekend I’m backing BTTS at 5/6.
Chievo vs. Carpi is another game where I’ll be gambling on goals. A third of Chievo’s home games have seen four or more goals this campaign and their safe league position will allow them to play a more expansive game. You can choose between BTTS at 1/1 and over 2.5 goals at 5/4.
I’m hoping Napoli pick themselves up before facing Verona. Even after last weekend’s game (where Higuaín lost his head and Napoli lost their striker) the gap in class between the two sides justifies Napoli’s price of 4/9.
A boost to any bet could come in the form of a draw between Empoli and Fiorentina. I haven’t been overly impressed with either over the last few months but Empoli somehow managed a whopping 58% possession away to Juventus last weekend with the likes of Leandro Paredes putting in a performance beyond his years. You can find the draw at 11/5.
Win Treble @ 3.16
Napoli @ 4/9
AS Roma @ 7/20
Inter @ 8/13
Goals Treble @ 5.34
Sassuolo vs. Genoa BTTS @ 17/20
Napoli vs. Verona Over 2.5 goals @ 4/9
Chievo vs Carpi BTTS @ 1/1
Mixed Double @ 3.33
Palermo vs Lazio BTTS @4/5
Torino @ 17/20