It's been a busy week for Serie A sides across Italy; with midweek fixtures likely to have taken their toll on the players, it will be interesting to see if fatigue plays a role this weekend. Matchweek 11 kicks off on Saturday evening with a clash between Juventus and Torino. The game is followed by the match of the weekend, which sees Inter and Roma lock horns at the Stadio Olimpico. There’s also a host of fixtures on Saturday as well as two matches on Monday.
I will try and navigate my way through the fixtures in search of a couple winners below.
Saturday 31 October
It has been a tough year for the reigning champions. They lie twelfth on the table with only three wins from their ten games. Their home form has been relatively good, however. They have only lost a solitary game on their own patch and will hope to have that record intact come the final whistle this weekend. Torino currently occupy ninth place on the log but that is mainly due to their home form. Giampiero Ventura’s side have conceded nine goals in their five away fixtures while only scoring five. Their defense will need to be a lot less porous if they are to avoid their fourth away defeat of the season. Juve have been a much tougher prospect at home and with Torino’s poor away record, I’m backing the Old Lady to get the job done at 6/10.
Inter Milan 17/10
Inter managed to get a 1-0 win away at Bologna during the midweek fixtures. The victory leaves them in fourth place on the log, two points behind current log leaders and this weekends opponents, Roma. If the Milan giants manage to beat Roma and Napoli and Fiorentina fail to win their games, Inter will move into first place on the log. Roma will be doing everything in their power to retain their log position and with Gervinho in fine form they, may just be able to do this. My money is on Roma to get a result, whether that's a draw or a win is another matter altogether. With that in mind, I will be backing - Total Goals – over 2.5 at 9/10.
Sunday 1 November
Sunday’s early kick-off sees third-placed Fiorentina host seventeenth Frosinone. La Viola managed to get a win against relegation candidates Hellas Verona in their midweek fixture. This was Fiorentina’s third away win of the season and their seventh win of the campaign. Whilst their away form has been decent, their home form has been superb. Paulo Sousa’s side have won four of their five home fixtures and have conceded just two goals in front of their home fans. Frosinone are yet to win a game away from home and I don’t expect them to have improved on this record come the final whistle on Sunday. Fiorentina are a bit short for an outright win, so I suggest going with Fiorentina to win by 3 goals or more.
Genoa have been impressive at home thus, having only tasted defeat on their own patch once this season. They have won three of the four fixtures played at Stadio Luigi Ferraris. This run is unlikely to continue this weekend, however, with second-placed Napoli coming to town. The Azzurri have one of the best away records in the league at present. They have only been beaten on one occasion and have managed to find the back of the net eight times in their five away games. Genoa’s defense has been impressive thus far, but I can’t see them keeping Higuain and co quiet. Back Napoli for the win at 17/20
Hellas Verona 23/10
The two sides that occupy the last two positions on the log will go head to head on Sunday afternoon. While it’s still extremely early in the season both sides will be desparate to escape the relegation zone as soon as possible. The hosts currently sit at the foot of the table due to their inferior goal difference. With this in mind, Carpi know that a win here will lift them above Verona in the league and with high flying Atalanta taking on 18th placed Bologna, they may actually be able to escape the relegation zone with a victory. The exact same scenario applies to Verona, so they will also be going all out for the win. It’s a bit of a tough one to call especially when you look at the sides' records this season. Carpi are yet to win while Verona have only managed a solitary victory which came at home. I’m going to play it safe and tip the draw at 22/10
Udinese continued their poor start to the season on Wednesday night, losing to Roma by three goals to one. Their aging squad seems unable to cut it at this level anymore. This is perfectly illustrated by the form of veteran centre-forward, Antonio Di Natalie. Di Natalie has only managed to find the back of the net once in nine games. While he still tries his utmost to assist his side, he simply can’t keep up with the pace of the game anymore. Frenchman, Cyril Thereau has tried to fill the goal scoring void but without much success. While Udinese’s start to the season has been underwhelming, Sassuolo's has been the polar opposite. The Neroverdi continued to impress with a one nil victory over Juventus on Wednesday night. The win has seen them move up to fifth spot in the league. They will be aiming to claim another Italian giants scalp this Sunday and at 22/10 for a win I fancy them to do just this.
Eighteenth-placed Bologna host seventh-placed Atalanta this Sunday. The hosts struggles this season are mainly down to the defensive side of their game. They have shipped 15 goals in their 10 fixtures, with the majority of those goals conceded away from home. While they managed to score four goals away from home, they have only find the back of the net twice in front of their home fans. They will need to be more ruthless in front of goal this weekend if they are to topple Atalanta. The Nerazzurri have only won a solitary game on the road this season but I’m backing them to have doubled that tally come the conclusion of this one. At 16/10 for a win they’re definitely worth a punt.
AC Milan 2.65
Sunday's final fixture sees Lazio host eighth placed AC Milan. The Milanese are still trying to recover from their sluggish start to the season. Their win against Chievo on Wednesday night has seen them move up to eighth spot in the league but they will need to continue to get the right results if their Champions League aspirations are to be fulfilled. Lazio sit two places above Milan on the log. Their loss to Atalanta on Wednesday night was their fourth away defeat of the season. While their away form has been well below par, their home form has been exceptional. The Biancocelesti have won all five of their home games thus far and could well add a sixth to that tally this weekend. With Milan struggling on the road and Lazio undefeated on their own patch, I’m backing Lazio for the win at 21/20.
Monday 2 November
Eleventh-placed Chievo host tenth placed Sampdoria in the first of two matches on Monday night. Chievo have only been defeated on their home patch once this season while Sampdoria are yet to win on the road. Both sides have been in fine goal scoring form, however, their porous defensive displays have cost them points. With both teams banging in goals for fun and possessing sieve-like defenses, I’m tipping the Total Goals to be over 2.5 at 12/10.
The final fixture of the round sees Palmero take on Empoli at the Stadio Renzo Barbera. Both sides occupy spots in the lower end of the table but have a decent points cushion over the teams battling it out in the relegation zone. Palmero’s home form has been a bit of a mixed bag with one win, two draws and a loss. While Empoli had only managed one win from their three away games. The stats seem to indicate that this one will be a closely-fought affair and with that in mind, I’m tipping the Total Goals to be under 2.5 at 7/10 instead of trying to find a match winner.
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