Serie A Week 31 Preview

Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now! 

In surely the biggest upset of the season, bottom dwellers Parma edged log leaders Juventus 1-0 at home last Saturday. However, Roma failed to capitalise on that defeat as they settled for a 1-1 stalemate at Torino. Lazio made no mistake as they leapfrogged Roma into second place with a convincing 4-0 triumph on their ground against Empoli. Elsewhere, the bottom three stayed the same, while Inter Milan showed their quality with a 3-0 victory away to Hellas Verona. It was a morale boosting win ahead of their titanic clash with neighbouring rivals AC Milan this weekend.

Saturday 18 April

Sampdoria  11/20
Draw  29/10
Cesena  11/2
Despite holding AC Milan to a 1-1 draw at the San Siro, Sampdoria dropped to sixth place on the log after Napoli annihilated Fiorentina 3-0. Sampdoria have won four of their last six matches and are unbeaten on their ground, winning seven and drawing seven of their fourteen home games. Cesena hasn’t given the Stadio Manuzzi crowd a goal to cheer in 284 minutes of football after a disappointing 1-0 defeat on their turf against Chievo on Sunday. They are winless in their last five matches and that poor form is tipped to continue.  

Juventus  9/10
Draw  5/2
Lazio  31/10
Juventus had been unbeaten in Serie A since a 1-0 defeat at Genoa in October last year, followed by sixteen victories and four stalemates. A 1-0 loss at the hands of bottom of the log Parma saw Juventus’ unbeaten run shattered. Lazio stole second place from rivals Roma with a resounding 4-0 triumph over Empoli at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday. It was an eighth consecutive victory for them and they are now only one win shy of matching the all-time club record set in 1998/99. The Biancocelesti have put together 58 points in thirty matches, two more than throughout all of last season. Lazio might be in second place, but are top of the table when it comes to goals, as they have 58 compared to Juve’s 57. Like the leaders, they too have amassed 31 points in 2015. It should be an evenly matched game, given Juventus’ outstanding unbeaten home record and Lazio’s form of eight straight victories. The draw should be backed.  

Sunday 19 April

Sassuolo  21/10
Draw  21/10
Torino  27/20
Sassuolo have lost six of the last eight matches after falling to a 2-1 defeat away to Atalanta and have scraped only two points from eight away fixtures.  Following back-to-back wins, Turin were happy to settle for a share of the spoils, drawing 1-1 at home against Champions League hopefuls Roma. Although Sassuolo have won their last two home games, they have struggled against Turin in recent meetings, losing three of the last four encounters. The away win is tipped.  

Chievo  5/4
Draw  21/10
Udinese  24/10
Substitute Sergio Pellissier scored eight minutes from time to hand Chievo a 1-0 win at relegation-threatened Cesena on Sunday. It was their third victory from their last four matches. Udinese come to town on the back of a humiliating 3-1 loss on home soil against Palermo. For the third time this season, Udinese have gone five matches without success. They’ve won only one of their last ten games, beating Torino 3-2 along with four draws and four losses. Udinese did not take a shot on goal until nine minutes from time when Antonio Di Natale beat Palermo goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino with a right-footed strike. Chievo look the better team at present and the home win is tipped.

Roma  9/20
Draw  7/2
Atalanta  13/2
Roma surrendered their grip on second place in Serie A to fierce rivals Lazio by struggling through to a 1-1 draw at Torino. They are now unbeaten in thirteen official away games, winning six of them. This was their twelfth draw of the campaign; only Sampdoria with thirteen and Empoli with fifteen have more. Atalanta are coming off a 2-1 home victory over Sassuolo. They were without a win in eight rounds, picking up just three points and it was their first win under coach Edy Reja. The Orobici had never beaten Sassuolo in the top flight before, managing only a draw from three attempts, but a 2-1 victory was enough to claim maximum points. Roma have won the last nine meetings at home against Atalanta. The home win should be taken on the halftime-fulltime double at 21/20. 

Empoli  6/10
Draw  28/10
Parma  47/10
Empoli confirmed their poor away form of one win, nine draws and five defeats after a 4-0 thumping at Lazio and the week prior, losing 2-0 away to champions Juventus. Parma pulled off the biggest surprise of the Serie A season on Saturday as the crisis-hit club beat runaway leaders Juventus 1-0. Jose Mauri's goal was enough for the Gialloblu to make it seven points from their last three games and sixteen for the season, while putting a minor dent in the Bianconeri's hopes of a fourth straight league title. Parma declared bankruptcy last month and their players have not been paid all season, but they have now strung a series of positive results together, including a 1-0 victory over Udinese last week Wednesday. Take Parma on the win/draw double at 11/10. 

Palermo  11/10
Draw  9/4
Genoa  5/2
Palermo's long wait for a second Serie A away win of the season came to an end with a 3-1 triumph at Udinese on Sunday. They were finally able to celebrate after recording only two points from their last six matches, while their last away victory was a 2-0 win at Milan on November 2 followed by five stalemates and four losses. Genoa got back to winning ways after three draws and two losses from their last five games with a comprehensive 2-0 win on their turf against relegation fighters Cagliari. The sides have drawn the last three meetings and that trend is tipped to follow.  

Cagliari  29/10
Draw  11/4
Napoli  17/20
Genoa left Cagliari even deeper in relegation danger with a 2-0 win at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday. Cagliari extended their negative streak to just two points from ten matches and have conceded in each of their last fifteen games for a total of 32 goals. Napoli shrugged off the disappointment of a disallowed ghost goal to push on and beat Fiorentina 3-0 to retake fourth place on the Serie A table. Napoli terminated their negative run of two draws from five games. For the first time since 2000-01, the Partenopei have done the league double over Fiorentina. Napoli should get the victory but their inconsistent defending could allow Cagliari to get on the score-sheet. The away win with Both Teams To Score works out to a valuable 22/10.  

Inter Milan  12/10
Draw  23/10
AC Milan  9/4

Please see featured game.

Monday 20 April

Fiorentina  9/20
Draw  7/2
Hellas Verona  11/2
Fiorentina fell to a second consecutive defeat in all competitions with a 3-0 hammering away to Lazio. They have one point from their last three Serie A away fixtures but will gladly return to home soil where they have beaten Hellas Verona in five of the last seven meetings. Verona were thumped 3-0 at home last time out as Inter Milan ran riot on Saturday. They are now winless in their last three matches and face a tricky trip to Fiorentina on Monday night. It’s difficult to see Verona getting a positive result from this one and Fiorentina are tipped to get back to-winning ways.

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