Our football writer previews round four of the Italian Serie A, which resumes on Friday evening.
After just three matches into the 2016/17 Serie A campaign, there is a sense of familiarity as Juventus lead the pack at the top of the standings. Roma and Napoli, as predicted, aren’t too far off and it looks as though the pair might just have the fighting spirit to push Juve all the way in their quest for a sixth successive Scudetto.
The Old Lady will face their toughest test yet when they travel to Milan on Sunday to take on Inter at the San Siro stadium. There are a few other eye-catching match-ups to go through first, so let’s get to it!
Friday 16 September
Sampdoria 2/1 | Draw 47/20 | AC Milan 13/10
We kick-start gameweek four with a clash between Sampdoria and AC Milan. Despite going down 3-2 at Roma, Sampdoria always looked a threat as they showed off their class and fighting spirit. It took a last gasp winner from the legendary Francesco Totti to see off La Samp and they will feel confident in returning to winning ways after claiming two wins on the bounce prior to their defeat last weekend.
AC Milan may have started the campaign well, claiming a win in the opening round, but two defeats on the trot has seen them fall behind in their hunt of finding their way back to the glory days we all know too well.
Milan are unbeaten against Sampdoria in the last eight meeting, including five wins. Nonetheless, it still doesn’t convince me and La Samp on the Win/Draw Double Chance is certainly worth a dabble at 11/20.
Saturday 17 September
Lazio 5/10 | Draw 33/10 | Pescara 11/2
Lazio will welcome newly-promoted Pescara on Saturday, with the former looking to claim a second consecutive away win on the bounce. The home team have won, drawn and lost once but should have more than enough firepower to see off their opponents.
Pescara have been just as inconsistent as their opponents. They fell to a 2-1 home loss against Inter Milan on Sunday and are likely to fall short yet again. Lazio are strong on home soil and are tipped to come out on top here.
Napoli 3/10 | Draw 9/2 | Bologna 19/2
Free-scoring Napoli will host Bologna, eager to leapfrog Juventus at the top of the table – well at least before the Old Lady takes to the pitch against Inter on Sunday. Following their 2-2 draw at Pescara in gameweek one, Napoli have rallied, ousting AC Milan 4-2 before the international break and then hammering Palermo 3-0 last time out.
Bologna come into this encounter off the back of a hard-earned 2-1 win at home against Cagliari, but prior to that, they were belted 5-1 at Torino. Napoli won this fixture 6-0 last season and are more than capable of humiliating their opponents once more. The last seven meetings have seen Over 2.5 Goals – I would suggest taking Napoli on the Matchbet + Totals (Over 2.5 Goals) at 7/10.
Sunday 18 September
Udinese 23/20 | Draw 43/20 | Chievo 26/10
Udinese and Chievo will square off in a lunch-time kick off on Sunday. The latter were involved in one of the upsets of the weekend, edging AC Milan 1-0 last time out. Chievo didn’t do too bad either as they held Lazio to a 1-1 home draw.
This is one of those encounters that can go either way. Both teams have a good chance of snatching maximum points, but who will it be? I say rather get on the Both Teams To Score market at 9/10, after all nine of the last 12 meetings have seen both sides hit the back of the net.
Cagliari 15/10 | Draw 9/4 | Atalanta 18/10
New boys on the block, Cagliari, are up next against Atalanta, looking for their first win of the season. The newcomers are without a win and desperately need to find some sort of form to get them out of this early season slump.
Atalanta are coming off a well-deserved 2-1 home win against Torino, following back-to-back defeats. It’s never easy to win a match after suffering consecutive defeats; you’ve got to take into account a team’s motivation, confidence, team spirit and determination, but Atalanta overcame the odds and ground out a victory.
Neither team have a prolific attack and we could be in for one of those dull contests. Cagliari know they can’t afford to drop points against a team of Atalanta’s quality and will do their best to remain solid. Get on the Under 2.5 goals market at 8/10.
Torino 15/20 | Draw 5/2 | Empoli 15/4
Torino may have lost two of their three matches thus far, but they certainly made home advantage count last time out, dismantling Bologna 5-1 at home. Their opponents, Empoli, did extremely well to claim their first win of the season following back-to-back defeats.
Empoli have won the last three meetings against Torino and might just be worth a dabble on the Double Chance. However, I think this is likely to be a cagey affair and Under 2.5 Goals is the best bet for me.
Sassuolo 13/10 | Draw 9/4 | Genoa 22/10
Sassuolo have made a rather poor start to the 2016/17 campaign, suffering two back-to-back defeats. With the exertion of Europa league football, Sassuolo’s form could even get from bad to worse, so it would be best to tread carefully.
After 28 minutes, the score deadlocked at 0-0, and the weather condition worsening, Genoa’s matchup with Fiorentina was called to halt. There was no improvement and standing water on the pitch meant the decision was taken to abandon the game.
Genoa have been in top form, winning both their matches, scoring six goals and conceding just twice. They have won the last two meetings against Sassuolo and are tipped on the Double Chance at 6/10.
Crotone 39/20 | Draw 9/4 | Palermo 15/10
Crotone and Palermo will face off in a bottom-of-the-log clash. Basement-dwellers Crotone have made the worst possible start to the campaign and as a result, are the only team yet to earn a point.
Palermo haven’t been much better, suffering two losses from three matches, scoring just once and conceding five times. Two teams that are both struggling to find the back of the net can only mean one thing, Under 2.5 goals – get on at 13/20.
Inter Milan 3/1 | Draw 47/20 | Juventus 19/20
Inter Milan will host Juventus on Sunday in what promises to be a cracking contest. The latter claimed their first win of the season last weekend, edging newcomers Pescara 2-1 away from home. Inter made a couple astute signings in the transfer window and definitely have the quality to cause an upset.
New signing Gonzalo Higuain, who scored a Serie A record 36 goals last season, scored a brace in the first 10 minutes to set titleholders Juventus on the way to a comfortable 3-1 home win against Sassuolo last time out. Juve are at the summit of the table, winning all their matches, scoring six goals and conceding just twice.
Inter did manage to hold Juve to a goalless draw in the league last season, while also whipping the Old Lady 3-0 in the Coppa Italia. Champions League and Europa League football is likely to have an effect on this encounter. Under 2.5 Goals is the way to go at 13/20.
Fiorentina 18/10 | Draw 47/20 | Roma 15/10
Fiorentina and Roma will do battle in the final Serie A tie of the weekend. It has all the makings of a humdinger; and I suspect there could be a flurry of goals if all goes well.
Fiorentina’s match with Genoa was suspended last weekend, due to heavy rainfall, so their players are well rested and will be eager to get up and running. Roma on the other hand, scored a last minute winner against Sampdoria, claiming a 3-2 win.
All three of Giallorossi’s matches have seen a minimum of four goals a game, so that well be worth looking into. Roma won both legs last season – 4-1 and 2-1 – and at 15/10 look good value for the win here.
TREBLE @ 7/1
Lazio Win 5/10
Udinese/Chievo BTTS 23/20
Roma Win 15/10
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets
Udinese/Chievo BTTS 23/20
Roma Win 15/10
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets