The football clubs of Frosinone and Carpi should remember the 2016 season fondly no matter where they find themselves next August. It would be possible for the entire population of either town to fit inside the San Siro at any given time. Fans of Carpi would be able to bring around 10,000 extra friends whilst a full Frosinone turnout would find the stadium almost half empty. Carpi’s run since Christmas has been steady and a huge turnaround for a side relegation-stricken just four months ago. Crucially they have won their winnable games, toppling relegation rivals Verona and Frosinone in back to back weeks. They’re at home to Empoli this weekend and 5/6 to grab their eighth win of the campaign.
The town of Frosinone sits not too far from the nation’s capital and their rapid rise from the third tier is one of the best recent stories in Italian football. The step up in class to Italy’s top division is one of the greatest in Europe and Frosinone can look back on wins over the likes of Sampdoria and Bologna. They host 19th place Palermo this weekend knowing they need a win to stay close to Carpi. The loser of the tie will likely go down and though both teams are struggling I’m expecting an attacking game. BTTS can be taken at 8/13.
The game of the weekend is undoubtedly Roma vs. Napoli and it’s impossible to preview the without a note on Francesco Totti. Has there ever been a greater one-club man? Totti has notched up 303 goals for Roma and his status at the club cannot be overstated. Debuting in 1992, Totti has been emblematic of Roma sides for the best part of twenty years. He’s been their striker, winger and recently a number 10; a leader, legend and captain. He’s stayed at the club as they’ve bounced around the division, boasting a single Scudetto and a painful collection of runners-up medals. He’s scored headers, dinks, free-kicks and goal of the season contenders.
Claudio Ranieri once said Totti ‘has to change his way of playing’ as ‘even the stones know’ what he will do. Knowing how he plays is one thing, preventing him from having an impact is another. Looking beyond his craft, his personality and charisma are second to none. His charm is ageless and he has a knack of creating moments usually reserved for the movies. Nabbing two off the bench vs. Torino last weekend was another perfect chapter in his career. Even Luciano Spalletti laughed.
They meet a Napoli side fresh from a resurgent 6-0 thumping of Bologna. A few months ago this match looked as if it could decide both the title fight and final champions league spot but Napoli’s stutter and Roma’s surge mean the pair are settled comfortably in their positions (second and third respectively). The tie should still be fiery and I’ll be backing both rivals to get on the scoresheet. Bologna posed Napoli no serious threat and on home soil I give Roma the edge at 6/4.
Both Turin sides have tough games. Juventus travel to Fiorentina and are above evens at 11/10 to collect three points. They walked past Lazio last weekend whilst the Viola’s poor form continued with a defeat to Udinese – that’s just one win in eight now. Torino are 21/20 to see off Sassuolo but the Neroverdi have one of the best away records in the league. The draw looks attractive at 23/10.
Chievo’s fine form shows no sign of letting up and I haven’t given them enough credit for their eighth place league position. Their game away to Atalanta is another which could end in a draw – again at 23/10.
Fourfold @ 5.64
Goals Treble @ 3.40
Mixed Double @ 6.01
(Odds correct as of 22/04)
(Images: Gazzetta/Calcio Blog/MetroNews)