Paolo Bandini's Serie A Betting: Sampdoria can add champions Juve to their list of top quality casualties


Saturday

Torino - Inter

As impressive as that 7-1 mauling of Atalanta was, Inter need to keep on winning if they are to have any chance of cracking the top three. It would be easy to underestimate a Torino side who sit 10th in Serie A, but whose only home defeat came at the hands of their neighbours Juventus.

The Granata average almost three goals per game at the Stadio Olimpico, and will have the division’s leading scorer - Andrea Belotti - starting up front. I honestly think this one could go either way, but the odds on the home success are far more appealing.

Belotti to score (any time) and Torino to win - 6.10

 

Milan - Genoa

Between José Sosa’s red card, Alessio Romagnoli’s fourth booking of the season and Carlos Bacca’s post-game tirade towards the officials, Milan picked up three suspensions in their defeat at Juventus. They are fortunate to face a free-falling Genoa side, but even so: the Colombian’s absence begs the question of where their goals will come from.

Bacca’s likely replacement, Gianluca Lapadula, has scored once in his last 10 appearances. The Rossoneri were already missing their second-leading goalscorer, Suso, due to injury. I suspect they find a way to get the three points they need, but I doubt it will be by blowing their opponents away.

Total goals: under 2.5 - 2.10

 

Sunday

Empoli - Napoli

Napoli have never beaten Empoli in 10 league visits to the Stadio Castellani. But then, the disparity between the two teams might never have been as great as it is today. Empoli have taken one point from their last seven games, and have scored four fewer goals as a team than Dries Mertens has on his own.

 

Away team to win without conceding - 1.97

 

Atalanta - Pescara

A home game against Serie A’s bottom side offers Atalanta the opportunity to rebound swiftly from last week’s humiliation at San Siro. Pescara’s new manager bounce lasted just a single game following the appointment of Zdenek Zeman, and one of the players he appreciates most, Gianluca Caprari, is likely to miss out this weekend due to injury.

Indeed, for all Zeman’s reputation as an attacking guru, his team have only scored twice in their last three matches. Atalanta, meanwhile, have kept four straight clean sheets at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia.

Away team: under 0.5 goals - 2.18

 

Bologna - Chievo

After consecutive home defeats to Napoli, Milan, Inter and Lazio, Bologna might be relieved to finally host another side from the bottom half of the table. And yet, they have not beaten Chievo since 2013. Sergio Pellissier is in especially good form for the visitors, too, with five goals in his last eight appearances. If he starts on Sunday (NB: not guaranteed), he’d be a nice value bet to extend that run.

Pellissier to score - 3.80

 

Cagliari - Lazio

Previously consistent in picking up points at home, Cagliari have more recently seen their limitations exposed. Juventus and Inter both came to Sardinia and won - scoring a combined seven goals - so a Lazio side boasting the joint-best form in the division ought to be capable of doing the same.

Sergej Milinković-Savić will miss out through suspension, but between Felipe Anderson, Keita and Ciro Immobile there is more than enough firepower in this side to keep things ticking over. The latter player has found the net seven times in his last seven games.

Total goals by away team: over 1.5 - 1.60

 

Crotone - Fiorentina

Away form has been a major problem for Fiorentina, who have lost seven times on their travels, but they ought not to suffer any further slip-up against Crotone. Although the Calabrian side have produced their best football at home - collecting 12 of their 14 points in front of their own fans - they sit 19th in the table for a reason. They have scored only once in their last seven matches.

Away team to win without conceding - 2.75

 

Sampdoria - Juventus

It took a 96th-minute penalty to see Juventus past Milan, but they would have been home and dry much sooner were it not for a spectacular performance from Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal for the Rossoneri. If the champions play that well again, they should win comfortably.

Any slip in their standards, however, would run a high risk of being punished. Sampdoria have taken five wins and two draws from their last seven matches, beating both Milan and Roma. Juve’s league defeats this season, furthermore, have all come away from home, after playing midweek fixtures - as they did on Tuesday against Porto. Oh, and they have already lost once at the Marassi this season, against Genoa.

Draw no bet: home win - 5.10

 

Udinese - Palermo

The good news for Palermo is that it appears Ilija Nestorovski will play this weekend despite sustaining a knock to the ankle against Roma. The bad news is that even his 10 goals have been insufficient thus far to give them hope of escaping relegation. The Sicilians remain seven points adrift of 17th-placed Empoli with 10 games left to play.

With Nestorovski present, Palermo can have hope of troubling an Udinese defence that has kept only a single clean sheet in 2017. Whether they can aspire to three points is another question entirely.

Both teams to score - 1.94

 

Roma - Sassuolo

Despite raining in 25 shots, Roma were unable to overturn their first-leg deficit against Lyon in the Europa League. The physical toll that the tournament has taken on Luciano Spalletti’s team this season is undeniable, and it is hard to believe that they will be at 100% after throwing everything they had at the Ligue 1 side.

Happily for them, they should not need to be against a Sassuolo team that has not scored in three games - despite the fact that two of those were against lowly Crotone and Bologna.

Half-time/full-time: Roma/Roma - 1.75