The Serie A returns with another round of fixtures with AC Milan and Inter Milan still neck on neck with each other chasing the Scudetto. This weekend will see Jose Mourinho’s Roma clash with his former employers Inter Milan, while Juventus has some unfinished business with Sassuolo. Mcebo Mpungose previews.
Saturday 23 April
13/20 Torino | Draw 28/10 | Spezia 42/10 (15:00)
Torino heads into this game on the back of a nail-biting draw with Lazio, who has been in great form in recent weeks.
Spezia, who’ve had a long time to recover from their last game, last lost 3-1 to defending champions Inter and are now winless in their last two games. Both teams will be going for a win on this one and that should keep the game open until the first goal is scored which may change things. I’m expecting a win for the home team in what will be payback for Torino having lost 1-0 to Spezia back in November.
5/1 Venezia | Draw 7/2 | Atalanta 5/10 (15:00)
The home side is winless in its last five games in a run that is sure to send them to relegation with a handful of games left to wrap up the season. Venezia finds themselves in 18th position, six points away from safety after 17th positioned Cagliari picked up a win in their last game.
They do come up against a team that is winless in the last three games in Atalanta and will fancy their chances against them. Things have gone wrong this year for Gian Piero Gasperini’s team having resided around Champions League places to now struggling to ensure qualification for the Europa League. I’m backing both teams to score at 8/10.
13/20 Inter Milan | Draw 29/10 | Roma 37/10 (18:00)
Probably the game of the weekend! Jose Mourinho’s men take on his former side Inter who are chasing the title. A win here will bring Roma closer to UCL qualification, they sit just five points off fourth positioned Juventus, who have a tricky fixture coming up as well. In their last game, Roma managed to nick a point from Napoli with Stephan El Shaarawy scoring in added time.
Roma had better chances in the game too, against a side that is still hopeful of winning the league. I’m expecting a pragmatic approach from Mourinho once again, probably setting his team up to hit Inter on the counter. To be safe, I’m tipping a double chance of an Inter win or draw.
15/20 Verona | Draw 11/4 | Sampdoria 36/10 (20:45)
Having beaten Atalanta away in their last game, Verona will now host Sampdoria who are on a three-game winless run that has dropped them close to the relegation zone.
Sampdoria sits just seven points ahead of the 18th-positioned team, which has a game in hand. While Verona’s form has fluctuated all season, they have collected seven points in their last four games, losing only once. I expect Verona to continue with this form by winning both halves.
Sunday 24 April
44/10 Salernitana | Draw 29/10 | Fiorentina 6/10 (12:30)
The early Sunday kick-off will see Salernitana clashing with Fiorentina, who have gone from midtable chillers to holding their own in a race for the Europa League, and they have an outside chance of making the UCL too if things go their way!
Salernitana, on the other hand, managed to get only their fourth win this entire season (after 31 games). They have a few games in hand, even if they win them, though they will still be four points off 17th position. There is a fighting spirit within Salernitana though and I expect them to create problems for Fiorentina. I’m still backing a Fiorentina win or a draw.
19/10 Bologna | Draw 23/10 | Udinese 29/20 (15:00)
Udinese visits Bologna in what should be an interesting watch with both teams in good form in the last few weeks. The away side has won the last three games, while Bologna hasn’t lost in three, collecting five points in that run.
Both teams have nothing to lose since they are a good distance away from the relegation zone and European competition qualification seems unattainable. I’m still expecting a good game and I’m backing both teams to score at 15/20.
4/1 Empoli | Draw 3/1 | Napoli 13/20 (15:00)
The last thing Napoli would want after dropping points is facing an in-form team. Luckily, they face the opposite of that in Empoli!
The home side is winless in their last five and can’t seem to stop the rot. If it isn’t a draw, it’s a loss and this is how their form looks in the last seven games: LDLDLDL. Third-positioned Napoli will be licking their lips ahead of this one and will hope it won’t be a draw. Back a Napoli win and a goal total of over 2.5.
11/10 Genoa | Draw 9/4 | Cagliari 49/20 (18:00)
A fight to survive the drop. This will be one of the key fixtures for these relegation strugglers who will be looking to get one over the other.
Both teams have only managed one win in their last five games. For Genoa, that was only their second win all season, while Cagliari was winning for the sixth time. Six points separate these teams. I’m backing a Genoa win here, by a score of 1-0.
37/20 Lazio | Draw 47/20 | AC Milan 29/30 (20:45)
AC got back to winning ways by defeating Genoa in their last fixture, after dropping points against Torino and Bologna. This should give Lazio hope that they can get something out of this game, maybe more than a draw.
Lazio has been quietly going about their business this year and now occupies the seventh position, level on points with sixth positioned Fiorentina and only two points off Roma on the Europa League spot. Both teams will be going for a win here. I’m backing a win for Lazio but to be safe I would double chance it with a Milan win.
Monday 25 April
31/10 Sassuolo | Draw 28/10 | Juventus 8/10 (20:45)
Juventus will visit Sassuolo looking for payback having lost to them back in October last year, in added time! Oh, the heartbreak. To give that loss some perspective; had Juve won they would be four points behind table toppers, if they drew, they would be six points ahead of Roma who are in the fifth position.
Juve’s form has changed for the better since then and is now a team that is kind of able to grind out results even if things aren’t going well. But they are facing a sly team that is unpredictable. In the last five games, Sassuolo has managed to win twice, lost twice and drew once. I can’t help but feel like there’s some value in backing a draw here.
TREBLE @ 19/1
Juventus Win 8/10
Lazio Win 37/20
Salernitana vs Fiorentina Draw 29/10