Written by Aaron Crowie for Soccer Betting News. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!
The Serie A will grace us for the last time this year, with the Christmas break just around the corner. Inter Milan moved four points clear at the summit of the table with an emphatic 4-0 victory at Udinese. Napoli and Roma shared the spoils in a dour draw, while Fiorentina slumped to a 3-1 defeat at champions Juventus, who climbed into fourth spot. Basement-dwellers Hellas Verona’s winless streak continued despite a much-improved performance against AC Milan. Frosinone and Carpi occupy 18th and 19th place on the log respectively while Genoa continue to flirt with the relegation zone.
With Christmas just a couple of days away, it will be the perfect time to tip a few winners. So for the last time this year, let’s see what we can conjure up.
SATURDAY 19 DECEMBER
In the only game on Saturday, Bologna host high-flying Empoli. However, Bologna have hit a good run of form themselves, with back-to-back wins against Napoli and then Genoa last weekend. Empoli have been outstanding in recent weeks with three victories on the trot, keeping clean sheets in all, while scoring five goals. Bologna have won the last three meetings at home against Empoli, scoring six goals and conceding just once. A tight affair is expected, with the draw my predicted outcome at 2/1.
SUNDAY 20 DECEMBER
Carpi face a stern test this weekend as defending champions Juventus come to town in top form. The Old Lady made a stuttering start to the league but are now getting back to their best. Juve made it six Serie A wins in a row last Sunday - boosting their title hopes with a 3-1 victory over fellow contenders Fiorentina. Carpi have managed just two wins from 16 games this term and the newcomers will be desperate to pull off an upset. However, with the current form Juventus are in, that is highly unlikely. Back the champions on the Halftime/Fulltime Double at 21/20.
Atalanta may lack consistency, but their home form this season has been extraordinary - winning five of their seven matches on their turf. Napoli dropped four points off table-toppers Inter Milan, as they were held to a goalless draw at home to Roma. However, Napoli have the quality to bounce back, but their record against Nerazzurri suggests otherwise. Partenopei have managed just one victory from the last 12 meetings away to Atalanta, which doesn’t bode well for their chances. Atalanta are tipped on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 11/10.
Fiorentina fell to their fourth Serie A defeat of the season, going down 3-1 at Juventus. They return home where they have brilliant, registering six victories from a possible eight, whilst scoring 18 goals and conceding just five times. Chievo will be confident of coming away with a positive result following their recent exploits. They have won three of their last four matches, including two on the bounce. However, Fiorentina have won the last six meetings against Chievo in all competitions, and five of those encounters including Over 2.5 Goals. The home team to Win + Over 2.5 Goals is well worth a punt at 5/4.
Hellas Verona 31/20
Bottom-of-the-log Hellas Verona remain without a victory after 16 matches, and they will be eager to enter the new year with at least one win to their name. Last Saturday's encounter between Sassuolo and Torino has been postponed as a result of heavy fog at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore. The weather conditions meant the playing surface was barely visible from the stands, with referee Domenico Celi calling the match off after an inspection. Sassuolo’s players will obviously be the fresher of the two teams and despite Verona chipping in with a much-improved performance at AC Milan last weekend, the away team look good value for money at 31/20.
Roma’s winless run continued last weekend as they settled for a scoreless draw at Napoli. Just three points from a possible 12 doesn’t read too well, especially for a team vying for the title. However, they will welcome a visit from Genoa, who are currently just two points off the drop. Genoa have been in terrible form, suffering three losses on the trot, scoring just once and conceding four times. Their away form is also quite atrocious, as they remain without a victory on the road. The hosts are tipped to claim maximum points – one for the multiples.
AC Milan 7/10
Frosinone’s 4-1 defeat at Palermo last time out, made it three defeats from their last four games, including two on the spin. They return to home soil where they have done fairly well for a newly-promoted side, winning four of their eight matches. AC Milan were booed off the pitch last Sunday as they were held 1-1 by bottom club Hellas Verona. The Rossoneri have failed to score a goal in their last two travels, but where better to find the back of the net, than the league's joint worst defence. However, Frosinone are capable of producing the goods at home, making Both Teams To Score the way to go at 17/20.
Sampdoria extended their winless run to seven matches on Monday night, after a 1-1 draw at Lazio. They have done fairly well on home soils with four wins from eight matches. Palermo ended a run of consecutive defeats, with a 4-1 home win against Atalanta. However, it’s on the road where they have struggled, scoring just six goals in seven travels. It’s a game that can go either way, but looking at recent head-to-heads, both teams have scored in seven of the last nine meetings between the sides, making that the safest bet at 8/10.
Torino’s meeting at Sassuolo was postponed before kick-off due to the heavy fog enveloping the Mapei Stadium as mentioned above. The Toro have managed just two wins from eight matches, but it’s at home where they have excelled, losing just once. Udinese have been dreadful of late, suffering back-to-back defeats against Fiorentina (3-0) and Inter Milan (4-0). Torino have won three of the last four meetings at home against Udinese and are tipped to add to that with another victory.
Inter Milan 7/10
Serie A leaders Inter Milan moved four points clear at the top with a convincing 4-0 victory at Udinese last Saturday. Inter have been in top form with six wins from their last seven matches. They have won six of their eight matches on their ground, and have the league’s toughest defence, conceding just nine times. Lazio are without a win in their last seven matches, which includes five defeats. They have been dreadful on the road, losing six of their seven travels, scoring just four goals and conceding 17. The home win is tipped confidently.
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