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Serie A Preview – Opportunity Knocks for AC Milan

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Last weekend saw both Napoli and Juventus collect single points and was the first time neither team won since gameweek five, back in September. Juventus’ goalless draw in Bologna has to be counted as a slip-up but it may be Napoli who are left the more frustrated having played three days later and taken a 1-0 lead vs. Milan. There was also much needed wins for Sassuolo, Genoa and Inter Milan, plus shows of defiance by the bottom three clubs with all avoiding defeat.

With just three defeats in their last twenty, AC Milan finally have reasons to feel cheerful again – especially twinned with arch rivals Inter’s fall from the head of the table in 2016. It’s all relative, however, for a side still a world away from their greatest eras; from Baresi to Van Basten, Maldini to Shevchenko. Their knack of drawing winnable games has prevented them from rising any higher than sixth, although their point in Naples last Monday should not be included in this bracket. Nevertheless, drawing nearly a third of their league games, Milan are difficult for punters to back with strong confidence.

Should they beat Torino at home this weekend, they have a chance of ending three points off fourth. The fact that a return to the Europa League would constitute a good season says everything you need to know about Milan’s horrible 2015. They won just 15 of 39 league games in the calendar year and a third of those came in the last three months under Siniša Mihajlović. Club favourite Filippo Inzaghi handled the club through its darkest days and whilst he did little for this managerial reputation he was captaining a sinking ship.

They are an attractive 8/11 price on the Betfect site and they will be hard to resist when placing my bets. Milan would love to see Fiorentina (4th) and Inter (5th) defeated and that’s a realistic possibility with the two squaring off against Napoli and Juventus respectively. Juventus dug deep to get back into their Champions League tie vs. Bayern Munich and will be looking for maximum points when they host Inter on Sunday night. Napoli travel to Fiorentina for the last in their trio of tough games and the draw at 23/10 seems fair – the Partenopei’s next five games are against sides locked in the bottom half and a point in Florence would not be the end of the world.

Elsewhere, Udinese vs. Verona catches the eye. Udinese’s struggles continued against Genoa last time out whilst bottom-side Verona continue to beguile with an up-turn in form. Last year’s surprise package had a horrendous start to the campaign but have taken ten of their eighteen league points since January 17th. They grabbed three points in a lively Derby della Scala last Friday with Luci Toni and Gianpaolo Pazzini on target. I’ll be going BTTS at 4/5 in this one.

Lazio surprised me when drawing to Frosinone last week and they now host Sassuolo.  Galatasary are tricky visitors to the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday night and I’m tempted by Sassuolo double chance at 11/10. They’ve been solid on the road this year conceding just 14 goals in 13 games.

Roma have 15 points from their last five and should see off Empoli -at 5/6 they’re another side hard to resist.

Check the Betfect site for this weekend’s Serie A odds in full.

 


 

Win Treble @

Milan win @ 8/11

Roma win @ 5/6

Juventus win @ N/A

Goals Fourfold @ 8.16/1

Sampdoria vs. Frosinone (Over 2.5) @ 4/6

Carpi vs. Atalanta (Under 2.5) @ 4/7

Udinese vs. Verona (BTTS) @ 4/5

Fiorentina vs. Napoli (BTTS) @ 8/11

Double Chance Treble @ 4.41/1

Sassuolo Double Chance @ 11/10

Bologna Double Chance @ 1/2

Napoli Double Chance @ 2/5


 

Mike Franchetti

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