Lazio - Verona
Three games without a goal have taken the wind from Lazio’s sails. The return of Antonio Candreva, the club’s leading scorer, is a welcome boost, but he had only fully missed the last of those matches anyway. More significant is the news that Lucas Biglia will also come back into the starting line-up a game earlier than anticipated. When fit, the Argentinian might be the most important player in Stefano Pioli’s team - a ball-winner and a distributor who provides the platform from which attacks are launched.
Even so, I cannot expect the goals to instantly start flowing freely. Verona might be last in the table but they are also unbeaten in five matches, and concede less often on their travels than at home - a mark of their more cautious approach.
Under 2.5 goals - 2.00
Carpi - Roma
The good and the bad of Luciano Spalletti’s new-look Roma side were in evidence against Sampdoria at the weekend. Diego Perotti scored a stunning volley off a fiendishly brilliant assist from Stephan El Shaarawy, marking the third time in as many games that two of the club’s January signings have combined for a goal, and when the Giallorossi attacked they looked far more dangerous than they had toward the end of Rudi Garcia’s tenure. But they also came within a whisker of throwing away a two-goal lead, surviving only after Mattia Cassani’s close-range shot came out of the underside of the bar in injury time.
They were guilty of complacency in the second-half of that match, and a repeat here would likely be punished. Carpi have grown into stubborn opponents over the course of this campaign, and were unbeaten in five league matches prior to one-goal defeats against Fiorentina and Napoli.
Double chance: Home win or draw - 1.98