Paolo Bandini's Serie A Betting: Milan To Deepen Tired Lazio's Troubles


Sunday

Atalanta - Bologna

Perhaps motivation has dipped now that relegation no longer seems like a realistic threat, or maybe opponents have wised up to Roberto Donadoni’s approach, but one way or another Bologna’s results have tailed off lately. Losing top scorer Mattia Destro to a foot injury for the next month is unlikely to help them get back on track.

Atalanta, though, are in worse shape: without a win in 14 matches. Their best centre-back, Rafael Toloi, is suspended, but this team has even bigger problems up front - shut out in four of its last six outings. Bologna themselves have scored a total of three games over the same span, so do not expect an end-to-end encounter.

Final score: 0-0  - 7.00

 

Frosinone - Fiorentina

ACF Fiorentina v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A : News Photo

If Frosinone’s results away from home were even half as good as those they have earned at the Stadio Matusa, then they would already be well on the way to safety. As it is, they remain 18th, having blown a huge opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone last week when they were lost in Carpi.

But just because they continue to fail on their travels does not mean they have forgotten how to pick up points in front of their own supporters. Frosinone have a better shot than the odds would suggest of taking something against an out-of-form Fiorentina team who have collected just nine points from their past eight away games.

Draw - 4.30

 

Sampdoria - Chievo

Home is where the goals are for Sampdoria, who have averaged almost 1.8 per game at the Marassi. Chievo, meanwhile, are not as robust at the back as their reputation might have you believe. They shipped three goals in each of their last two away games, and you would only have to go back another three to recall how they were thrashed 4-1 at Lazio.

Over 2.5 goals - 2.05

 

Sassuolo - Udinese

US Sassuolo Calcio v AC Milan - Serie A : News Photo

Luigi De Canio takes charge of his first Udinese match in 15 years this Sunday. He led the Friuliani to an eighth place finish in 1999-2000, but was sacked the following season as the team slumped in March. Now the shoe is on the other foot, De Canio the spring-time saviour for a side that won only once in the final 11 games presided over by his predecessor, Stefano Colantuono.

This, though, is not an easy place to start. Sassuolo have lost only twice at home this season and will have Domenico Berardi back from suspension.

Home win - 1.86

 

Torino - Juventus

Juventus fans might need some time yet to get over that gut-wrenching Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. But the club’s players need to put it behind them quickly in order to keep stride as they enter the home stretch of this ferociously tight title race.

An appointment with their Turin neighbours ought to sharpen the focus. It was only last season that Juventus lost their first Derby della Mole for 20 years

Torino have slipped a little since then, but the champions are still missing Giorgio Chiellini, Claudio Marchisio and perhaps also Paulo Dybala - whose status remains uncertain. On paper that looks like a recipe for trouble. But on the pitch, Juventus have dropped a total of two points since October.

Away win - 1.85

 

Verona - Carpi

ACF Fiorentina v Hellas Verona FC - Serie A : News Photo

Verona cannot mathematically be relegated for a few games yet, but anything less than a victory this weekend might realistically seal their fate. Even a win over Carpi, the team immediately above them, would still leave them three points adrift in last place.

The visitors’ tails will be up after beating Frosinone, but Jonathan De Guzman’s last-gasp strike from the penalty spot does not change the fact that goals remain a problem for this team. No individual in the Carpi squad has more than three.

Total goals by away team: under 0.5 - 2.55

 

Napoli - Genoa

This match should only go one way. Napoli have the best home record of any team in Serie A, while only Frosinone have taken fewer points away from than Genoa. But something gives me pause. Perhaps it’s the fact Genoa have lately played some of their best football this season (a relative term, but still) while Napoli were unconvincing in their most recent outing away to a very bad Palermo side.

As bad as the Grifone’s away record is, they only lost by a single goal away to Juventus last month, and then the same margin against Milan at San Siro. Manager Gian Piero Gasperini has a well-earned reputation for tweaking his tactics to suit the big games. Perhaps Genoa will still lose, but I suspect it will at least be close.

Three-way handicap: starts 0-2, Genoa win - 1.81

 

Milan - Lazio

Humiliated 3-0 at home to Sparta Prague on Thursday, Lazio look like a team with nothing left in the tank. Milan have been noticeably worse themselves since M’Baye Niang was lost to injury, but at the very least they are still present and fighting to get back into Europe.

Home win - 1.95