It is not as easy as it used to be to pick a winner in the Serie A. Last week my wallet took a beating and I refuse to put my pride in my pocket. Gameweek nine approaches and I vow to make amends for my slip up with some valuable picks.
Despite Fiorentina’s 2-1 defeat at Napoli, they remain at the top of the table by just a single point, while Inter Milan and Roma are breathing down their necks with seventeen points apiece in second and third place respectively. The former had to settle for a goalless draw at home, whilst the latter ousted Empoli 3-1. Lazio showed their lack of consistency as they fell to a 2-1 loss at Sassuolo. Elsewhere, Hellas Verona are the only team in the league yet to claim a victory, as they slipped into the relegation zone with a 1-1 home draw against Udinese.
SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER
Empoli will look to return to winning ways after their 3-1 loss at Roma. They have lost three of their last four matches and have managed just one win from four home games. Genoa are unbeaten in their last three matches after a hard fought 3-2 win on their home turf against Chievo. Their away record, however, has been atrocious, scoring just once and conceding five times in their five games on the road.
Nevertheless, they have looked impressive in recent weeks and look well worth a punt at 2/1.
New boys Carpi are coming off the back of a 3-0 thrashing away to Atalanta and come into this encounter with the worst defensive record in the league; conceding nineteen goals in eight league matches. However, cellar-dwellers, Bologna, haven’t been any better, with seven defeats from eight games, scoring a measly four goals while shipping thirteen. Both teams have struggled to score goals this term and in this bottom-of-the-log clash, it would be wise to back Under 2.5 Goals at 5/10.
Inter Milan 1/1
Palermo ended a four-match losing streak with a 1-0 win away to Bologna last time out but face a tougher task when they host third-placed Inter Milan, who will be looking to keep the pressure on the teams above them. Inter, along with table-toppers Fiorentina, possess the best defensive records in the league, conceding just six goals in eight games. However, Palermo do have enough firepower to get on the scoresheet, but then again, so do Inter. Take Both Teams To Score at 15/20.
SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER
Hellas Verona 11/4
Sampdoria are coming off a disappointing 2-0 defeat away to minnows Frosinone. They have now managed just one win from their last five matches. However, la Samp, return to their fortress where they remain unscathed, with three wins from four games. Verona, come to town, winless in the Serie A. Their last victory dates back to May this year. They have been dismal on the road, scoring just two goals in four games. Sampdoria, have lost just once against Verona in the last twelve meetings, making the home win well worth a punt.
AC Milan 15/20
AC Milan faced a difficult trip to Torino on Saturday night, a side that hadn't dropped points at home prior to this match, but the Rossoneri responded to their humiliating 4-0 defeat to Napoli, prior to the international break, with an improved performance in their 1-1 draw, last time out. Much has been said over the past two weeks regarding the club's hierarchy. With Milan seemingly in yet another crisis after losing four of their first seven games this season, Saturday's game could have been a crucial turning point. Their opponents, Sassuolo, impressed as well, as they defeated Lazio 2-1 on Sunday to end the Rome club's three-match winning run in Serie A. However, they managed just five wins from nineteen away games last term and should struggle here. Milan are tipped to get the win with Both Teams To Score at 27/10.
Juventus - who have won the last four league titles - are nine points off top spot, having only won two of their first eight games, playing to a goalless draw at Inter Milan, last time out. Something has got to change soon if the champions are to successfully defend their title. Atalanta are up next, and they come around in a bit of form as well. With three wins from their last four games, they are showing plenty of promise ahead of the clash. However, Juve have won the last ten meetings on the trot against Atalanta, and seven of those head-to-heads have seen over 2.5 goals. So Juventus win + Over 2.5 Goals will get you 19/20.
Udinese substitute, Cyril Thereau, scored an equaliser, six minutes from time to deny hosts, Hellas Verona their first Serie A win of the campaign on Sunday. The win stretched Udinese's unbeaten run to three matches. Frosinone picked up a second consecutive home win, with a 2-0 win over Sampdoria. However, their away form has been dreadful, losing three of their four games on the road, and scoring just once while conceding six times. The home win is tipped.
Fiorentina’s, five-match winning run came to an end last Sunday as Napoli edged the Viola 2-1 at home. They return to home soil, where they have been impeccable, with four wins from four games, scoring eight goals and conceding none. Second-placed Roma will look to leapfrog their opponents with a victory, and come to town in just the form to do so. They have won three matches on the spin, scoring an impressive twelve goals. Very little separates the sides at the moment, which points to a score draw as both teams have been firing goals in at will.
Lazio will be looking to put their 2-1 defeat at Sassuolo behind them when they take on Torino on Saturday. They have been clinical on their own turf, winning all four home games, while scoring eight goals and conceding just once in the process. Torino’s 100% winning home record came to an end last Saturday with AC Milan holding them to a 1-1 draw. They have just one victory from their last four matches, and their away form reads the same. Lazio have won the last three meetings against them and are tipped to build on that.
Chievo’s winless run continued last time out with a 3-2 defeat, away to Genoa. Their home form has been fairly decent, winning two of their four matches, while scoring six goals and conceding only twice, in the process. Napoli have been in fine form, unbeaten since their opening day defeat. They have won three games on the trot and could well add another victory to their tally this weekend. Chievo will do everything in their power to stop this rampant Napoli side, but it’s difficult to see that happening. The away win is tipped.