Starting yesterday and finishing tomorrow, a full set of Serie A fixtures has been packed into midweek as the Italian season begins to wind up. Most teams will have just a three-day rest before returning to the field at the weekend. Napoli romped past Bologna last night hitting goals five and six in the final minutes. Manolo Gabbiadini and Dries Mertens grabbed braces as Napoli emphasized there strength in the absence of Higuaín. Bologna were poor throughout as their season continues to unravel.
Arguably the season’s biggest unravelling came at Inter Milan. A scintillating start made them the biggest threat to Juventus’ crown but losses to Napoli, Juventus, Lazio and AC in quick succession saw the club implode and an astonishing turnaround finds them eighteen points behind the league leaders. Things have slowly improved but Roberto Mancini’s side have since seen 2-1 defeats to Torino and Fiorentina – finishing both games with nine men. A win against Napoli last weekend coupled with another Roma draw sees Inter sit four points behind the final Champions League spot with five games to play. Inter’s run-in is marginally easier, with Roma’s fixtures against Napoli and AC giving the Nerazzurri hope. AC could find themselves gifting their rivals a Champions League spot should they deny Roma on May 15th.
Before any of this happens Inter must travel to Genoa. Despite a crushing defeat to Carpi, Genoa are a stern side at home losing just four all season. Inter are good value at 10/11 to beat them tonight – but I won’t be backing with confidence.
Roma host a Torino side victorious in their last three. This is another match where it is difficult to back with much confidence. I’ll be going for value with a Roma + BTTS result at 21/10.
Looking further down the league, Empoli should see off Verona at 17/20. They’ve been improved recently and relegation-bound Verona look short on both belief and motivation. Sassuolo are another I’ll be backing. After back-to-back defeats they’re a good price at 6/5 but Sampdoria’s away form has improved and you may find the double chance market more tempting.
Juventus face a rejuvenated Lazio with both teams having hammered Palermo in the last two weeks. Under the new management of Simone Inzaghi Lazio will not be allowed to cruise through to the end of the season. I’m actually tempted by the draw in this one (14/5) but a Juventus home win at 11/20 is too great a price to turn down. I’ve had no luck with goals recently but am hopeful over 2.5 goals will land at 10/11.
Fiorentina’s long wait for three points was ended against Sassuolo last weekend and they now travel to an Udinese side who aren’t yet safe. The Viola will be hoping for another good performance by Josep Ilicic but I don’t fancy them for the win. I like the look of Udinese double chance at 4/6 and under 2.5 goals at 4/5.
Win Treble @ 6.31
Goals Double @ 3.01
Mixed Double @ 5.92