Gameweek 18 of the Italian Serie A gets underway on Tuesday evening.
When will we see a team that is truly capable of challenging Juventus for the all-important Scudetto? For far too long the Old Lady has dominated – five consecutive seasons to be exact – and after their 1-0 victory over title-chasers Roma, it seems as though the defending champions will be cruising their way to yet another league title. Nonetheless, it ain't over until the fat lady sings, so Roma, Napoli, Lazio and AC Milan will need to put their blood, sweat and tears into it if they are to halt the powerhouse from Turin in their tracks.
Had it not been for AC Milan’s lacklustre goalless draw with Atalanta on Saturday evening, it would have been back-to-back trebles for yours truly. But let’s not dwell on the past, we still have one final round of Italian Serie A to get through and I’m feeling confident in this week’s set of fixtures. There are only eight matches in-store, however, as Juventus and AC Milan square off in the Supercoppa final. Wishing all our loyal Serie A readers a very merry festive season and a happy new year!
Tuesday 20 December
Atalanta 11/20 | Draw 29/10 | Empoli 52/10
Atalanta and Empoli will get gameweek 18 underway on Tuesday evening. La Dea have been strong at home with five wins from eight games, but their form in recent weeks has somewhat taken a dip, as they are without a win in three matches.
Empoli on the other hand are fighting for survival in the second half of the table. The Azzurri are 17th on the standings, just five points clear of the relegation zone. They won’t go down without a fight, so Atalanta can expect a cagey encounter. Take Under 2.5 Goals at 7/10!
Wednesday 21 December
Inter Milan 11/10 | Draw 51/20 | Lazio 9/4
Two clubs who are still finding their feet under new management - Inter Milan and Lazio – will clash in Wednesday’s sole Serie A clash. Both teams have won back-to-back matches and will be eager to maintain that for with another victory.
The last six meetings between these sides at the San Siro have seen both teams find the back of the net as well as a minimum of three goals scored per game. It might be a bit of a big call to make but sometimes you got to risk it to get the biscuit - Both Halves Over 1.5 Goals at a valuable 31/10.
Thursday 22 December
Cagliari 29/20 | Draw 24/10 | Sassuolo 37/20
On to Thursday’s action with Cagliari and Sassuolo adding to an action-packed evening of Italian football. The hosts have been poor in recent weeks with four losses from their last six matches, including back-to-back defeats, conceding seven goals without scoring.
Sassuolo have been dismal with six losses from their last eight matches and are just three points behind their opponents on the table. With both sides leaking goals, the Both Teams To Score market is the safest bet at 11/20.
Fiorentina 24/10 | Draw 51/20 | Napoli 21/20
Fiorentina will play host to an in-form Napoli side at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Viola have lost two matches on the bounce, scoring once and conceding four times. Both defeats were suffered on their travels, so they will welcome the return to home soil where they remain unbeaten.
Napoli come into this clash undefeated in their last six matches with four victories, including three on the trot. Partenopei are back to their best and should do enough to claim valuable away points here.
Palermo 12/10 | Draw 23/10 | Pescara 47/20
Up next, Palermo will go up against Pescara in a bottom of the log clash. The home side ground out an impressive 4-3 victory at Genoa last time out and will take some confidence and momentum going into the match-up.
Basement-dwellers Pescara are winless in their last 16 matches in all competitions and have lost six of their eight games on the road, scoring eight goals and conceding double that amount. Palermo have won four of the last six meetings between the sides and are tipped to build on that.
Roma 3/10 | Draw 9/2 | Chievo 15/2
Roma will take on Chievo in what promises to be an entertaining affair. The Giallorossi have been impeccable on home soil, winning all eight games, scoring 24 goals and conceding just six times in the process.
Chievo have been excellent of late with back-to-back victories and will be determined to maintain that form. However, their record away to Roma leaves a lot to be desired with six losses from the last seven matches at the Stadio Olimpico – all of those wins included clean sheets. Get on the Home To Win To Nil market at 21/20.
Sampdoria 23/20 | Draw 47/20 | Udinese 24/10
Sampdoria and Udinese are next up to go toe-to-toe. The home side have been poor of late with back-to-back defeats and will be eager to turn their slight slump in form around with a victory over a team they haven’t lost to at Stadio Luigi Ferraris in the last 12 attempts.
However, Udinese are on a high, and rightly so. They are on a winning streak of three consecutive games, scoring six goals and conceding just once. Back the Zebrette on the Win/Draw Double Chance at 13/20.
Torino 8/10 | Draw 28/10 | Genoa 33/10
We round of match day 18 with a tasty clash between Torino and Genoa. The former have been poor in recent weeks with three losses on the spin but return to home soil where they have bagged five wins from eight games.
Genoa have lacked consistency but they do have the quality to come away with maximum points. I foresee goals here and in the last six meetings both teams have managed to find the back of the net. Take Both Teams To Score at 13/20.
TREBLE @ 64/10
Napoli Win 21/20
Palermo Win 12/10
Torino v Genoa BTTS 13/20
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets