Gameweek 19 of the Italian Serie A kicks off on Saturday with Empoli taking on Palermo.
2017 has finally arrived! A new year, new prospects and greater challenges lie ahead. The graceful Italian Serie A returns this week after a short festive break. It’s time to get down to business! But before we do that, let’s review what has been a mesmerising 2016/17 campaign.
Defending champions Juventus are the gift that keeps on giving. The Old Lady are top of the table, buzzing with confidence and should they maintain their terrific form, they should be in line to claim a sixth consecutive Scudetto. As predicted, Roma and Napoli are placed just behind the leaders on the standings and will most likely push Juve all the way.
With around 20 games to go for most teams, there will be plenty of opportunities to make some money, and yours truly will be with you week in and week out, providing you with all the best bets and in-depth tips. That’s enough pleasantries for now, let’s get to it!
Saturday 7 January
Empoli 1/1 | Draw 23/10 | Palermo 29/10
Empoli and Palermo will open proceedings on Saturday evening. The home side have battled on their won ground, claiming just two wins from nine games, scoring five goals and conceding 15 times in the process.
Relegation-threatened Palermo have been horrendous in recent weeks, suffering six defeats from their last eight matches. A tight affair is expected with the Totals – Under 2.5 Goals looking a tempting bet at 6/10. Get on!
Napoli 1/4 | Draw 5/1 | Sampdoria 17/2
Napoli and Sampdoria will lock horns in the second and final Serie A matchup on Saturday. The Azzurri are unbeaten in their last seven matches, including four victories, while Sampdoria have managed just one win from nine travels.
Napoli are unbeaten in the last 10 meetings against Sampdoria, while the last five encounters have seen a total of 25 goals. The home side are priced up short at 1/4 and although I do see Napoli taking maximum points, I also foresee a goal fest. Get on the Both Halves Over 1.5 Goals at 9/4.
Sunday 8 January
Udinese 11/4 | Draw 5/2 | Inter Milan 19/20
We kick-start Sunday with a lunch time kick off between Udinese and Inter Milan. The former are unbeaten in their last four matches with three victories and will be determined to build on that with another win.
However, Inter Milan have also been in top form, winning their last three games on the spin, scoring six goals without conceding. In the last 17 meetings between the sides, there has been just one stalemate. So, an end to end game of football is expected. Take Both Teams To Score at 7/10.
Pescara 31/10 | Draw 26/10 | Fiorentina 17/20
Relegation-bound Pescara will be eager to get their season going in the right direction with a win against Fiorentina. The basement-dwellers are winless since August last year, a run of 17 matches in all competitions.
Fiorentina have struggled to maintain winning form, but this is one contest they are expected to come out on top. Back the Viola to earn their first victory of the year.
Sassuolo 33/20 | Draw 47/20 | Torino 16/10
Sassuolo and Torino will both be keen to kick-start the year with a victory when the sides square off on Sunday afternoon. The Neroverdi have been dismal with six losses from their last eight matches, including three defeats on the trot.
Torino have been terrible with three losses from their last four games, but last time out they returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Genoa. They haven’t lost away to Sassuolo in the last seven meetings, including four wins and three draws. Back Torino at a valuable 16/10.
Lazio 3/10 | Draw 47/10 | Crotone 9/1
Lazio and Crotone are next up to go toe-to-toe. The home side have won four of their last six matches, whilst Crotone are placed second from bottom on the log without a win on their travels, including eight losses from nine matches, scoring five times and conceding 19 goals.
Lazio have been strong at home with six wins from nine games and are tipped to capitalize on home advantage yet again. Get on the Lazio Half-Time/ Full-Time win at 15/20.
Genoa 29/10 | Draw 26/10 | Roma 9/10
Roma will be determined to make to ground on table-toppers Juventus with a victory over Genoa. The home side have lost three of their last four matches, including back-to-back defeats whilst Roma have won five of their last seven games.
The Giallorossi have won eight of the last nine meetings against Genoa and are tipped to add to that. The home win should be backed.
Chievo 16/10 | Draw 2/1 | Atalanta 37/20
In a matchup that could go either way, Chievo welcome Atalanta to the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi. The home side have been below-par at home with four wins from nine games and their opponents Atalanta have managed the same amount if wins on the road.
A cagey affair is on the cards. The last five meetings have seen Under 2.5 Goals, so a safe bet would be to follow the pattern at 11/20.
AC Milan 4/10 | Draw 15/4 | Cagliari 6/1
AC Milan have been strong on home soil with six wins from nine matches. They also have a brilliant record against Cagliari as they remain unbeaten in the last 25 meetings against, including 11 consecutive home wins.
Cagliari have travelled poorly with seven losses from nine matches, scoring seven goals and conceding 23 times. Take AC Milan on the (-1) Handicap at even money.
Juventus 1/5 | Draw 57/10 | Bologna 25/2
Last but not least, Juventus will be looking to pick up where they left off with a win over Bologna. The defending champions and log leaders have a 100% win record at home this season, scoring 24 goals and conceding just six times.
Bologna have been terrible on the road with just one victory from their eight travels and that doesn’t look like improving here. However, they will know they have nothing to lose and should play without any fear. Juventus to draw half-time and win full-time can be found at 26/10.
DOUBLE @ 28/10
Roma Win 9/10
AC Milan (-1) ‘Handicap 1/1
Written by Aaron Crowie @Hollywoodbets