Paolo Bandini's Serie A Betting: Geoffrey Kondogbia's Return Bodes Well For Inter At Lazio


Saturday

Udinese - Torino

Just when Udinese were starting to feel safe, both Palermo and Carpi win on the same weekend to restore a hint of jeopardy. The Friuliani remain six points clear of the relegation zone with three games left to go but teams have been relegated from similar positions before.

A positive result here would go a long way to sealing the deal. Udinese may need to be bold, however, in order to get one. Torino have scored at least once in every game since the start of March.

Both teams to score - 1.82

 

Chievo - Fiorentina

AC Chievo Verona v Frosinone Calcio - Serie A : News Photo

Fiorentina gave their best performance in months against Juventus, but it was not enough. Will that galvanise them to end the season on a high note, or did it simply draw out the final energy reserves from a team that has faded badly since the start of this calendar year?

If Fiorentina take Chievo lightly, they will suffer. The Flying Donkeys have won four of their last six games and are aiming for a club record points tally. I would not make them favourites for this game, but I do find the odds on their victory appealing.

Home win - 3.70

 

Sunday

Juventus - Carpi

On paper, these circumstances could look ideal for an upset. Juventus have already sewn up the Scudetto, whilst Carpi are fighting for survival with impressive ferocity. They have lost only twice in 10 matches since the middle of February.

If Juventus were to take their foot off the gas, there is a reasonable chance that they might be punished. But the Bianconeri are not prone to such behaviour. They won the title with four games to spare in 2014-15 but still went on to beat both Inter and Napoli in in the weeks that remained. A year earlier, they powered all the way to 102 points. So why would they go easy now?

Home team to win without conceding - 1.90

 

Milan - Frosinone

UC Sampdoria v AC Milan - Serie A : News Photo

Among the many great disappointments of Milan’s season has been the lack of goals produced by a side that went all-out to acquire Carlos Bacca, Luiz Adriano and Mario Balotelli over the summer. Happily Frosinone have been kick-starting opposing teams’ attackers all season. Their 68 goals conceded are the most in the division, and a whopping 43 of them have come away from home.

Total goals by home team: over 2.5 - 2.02

 

Empoli - Bologna

Each of these teams has punched above its weight at times this season, but each has been locked on a downward trajectory now for a little while. They have won two games apiece since the start of February, and the performances have rarely been pretty.

None of Empoli’s last eight matches have featured more than two goals. Only two of Bologna’s last 13 have. You would probably be wisest not to expect an end-to-end affair.

Under 2.5 goals - 1.88

 

Palermo - Sampdoria

Frosinone Calcio v US Citta di Palermo - Serie A : News Photo

There is hope yet for Palermo in the relegation scrap. Although three points behind Carpi, and with a far worse goal-difference (that would be the tie-breaker, since they drew both head-to-head meetings), they do have two winnable home games left to play. This is the first of them.

Palermo need at least a point, and possibly all three. Had they not won away to Frosinone last weekend, then I would strongly doubt their chances. But with Samp safely arrived at 40 points, and Alberto Gilardino in form, I am beginning to think that timing might just be on their side.

Home win - 1.90

 

Sassuolo - Verona

Verona did Sassuolo a big favour last week by beating Milan. But will they undo it all here? Now mathematically doomed to relegation, Verona have less reason to fight but might equally be liberated by the knowledge that there is no pressure upon them.

Luca Toni is expected back in the visitors’ starting line-up, and that may be significant. He has scored four times in as many meetings with Sassuolo over the past two years, and Sassuolo centre-back Paolo Cannavaro has tended to struggle with his physical presence.

Toni to score - 3.45

 

Lazio - Inter

FC Internazionale Milano v Udinese Calcio - Serie A : News Photo

There is not a lot left riding on this match but both managers are working to convince their respective clubs that things are at least moving in a positive direction. Simone Inzaghi has been brought back down to earth after a bright start at Lazio, while Roberto Mancini needs to provide evidence that his Inter team is at least getting closer to breaking back into the Champions League.

The Nerazzurri have struggled away from home in 2016, but to me it is significant that the only matches they have lost since the start of March are the ones that Geoffrey Kondogbia has missed. He is expected to start on Sunday.

Away win - 2.70

 

Look out for Paolo's previews for Monday's matches on Monday morning