Paolo Bandini’s Serie A Betting: Udinese good value to get a result at the San Siro


SATURDAY

Atalanta - Chievo

After sewing up their Europa League group stage spot with a game to spare, all that remains for Atalanta is to enjoy the party. The common assumption is that this will be a goal-fest: after all, Chievo are safe in mid-table and just lost 5-3 at home to Roma. But the odds have moved so far that I’m inclined to go in the opposite direction. Atalanta have only scored multiple goals twice in their last seven matches.

Under 3.5 goals - 2.05

 

Bologna - Juventus

What team will Massimiliano Allegri deploy for Juventus? Some members of the first XI will no doubt be rested with an eye on next week’s Champions League final, but others may start - either to keep them sharp or, as in the case of Sami Khedira, to help get them back to full speed after an injury.

Bologna are no pushovers at the Stadio Dell’Ara - where they have won three of their past four games, scoring 11 times along the way. But they have also not beaten Juventus there since 1998, and even with a rotated side, the champions will still boast superior talent.

Away win - 1.98

 

SUNDAY

Cagliari - Milan

Will Milan be in demob-happy mode on Sunday? This last part of the season has been a slog for the Rossoneri, but after securing European football with a win over Bologna, they have spent the past week enjoying celebratory cook outs and plotting for next season.

Cagliari have been strong on their own patch, winning 10 out of 18 games and losing just five. I see few reasons for them to be slated as underdogs here.

Double chance: home win or draw - 1.9

 

Roma - Genoa

They are calling it ‘Totti Day’ in Rome - the captain’s final match for the Giallorossi. But how many minutes will he actually get? Roma need to win this match to be sure of finishing second. Luciano Spalletti has refused to give in to public emotion so far with his team selections.

Genoa, though, are a bad team and even more unlikely to put up a fight now that they are safe from relegation. Totti’s team-mates will know that their best chance of getting him onto the pitch sooner will be to score early and often.

Three-way handicap - first-half: starts 0-1, Roma win - 2.08

 

Sampdoria - Napoli

Napoli can only aim to win this weekend and hope for an upset in Rome. But they might find Sampdoria to be well motivated, after the club’s owner, Massimo Ferrero, threatened (possibly in jest) to cancel his players’ holidays unless they win. He is desperate to get one over on fellow film-maker Aurelio De Laurentiis - something that he has so far failed to achieve in five attempts.

The visitors, though, are at close to full strength, and have scored 12 goals in three matches. De Laurentiis is reported to have put some players’ noses out of joint with remarks made at their end-of-season dinner, but it would still be a surprise to see that knock them off their stride. Dries Mertens, in particular, still has unfinished business as he vies with Edin Dzeko to finish as Serie A’s top scorer.

Mertens to score - 1.55

 

Crotone - Lazio

Crotone’s seven-game unbeaten run was halted by Juventus, but they can still escape relegation if they better Empoli’s result this weekend. Lazio have lost twice since sealing their Europa League qualification, and are missing all three of Wesley Hoedt, Senad Lulic and Keita through suspension.

Even so, I would guard against taking a Crotone success for granted. This Lazio team still boasts Lucas Biglia and Senad Milinkovic-Savic in midfield, with Felipe Anderson and Ciro Immobile ahead of them. Only two of Crotone’s wins have come against teams from the top half of the table.

Double chance: away win or draw - 1.74

Fiorentina - Pescara

Will this be Federico Bernardeschi’s last match for Fiorentina? The No.10 continues to stall over a new contract, and there is not much else for the Viola to feel positive about after missing out on Europe. They ought at least to end the season on a winning note, against last-placed Pescara.

Home team to win without conceding - 2.38

 

Inter - Udinese

Although back to winning ways, Inter are hardly in ideal shape heading into their final fixture. Mauro Icardi is expected to miss out due to injury - leaving Eder, who has scored six league goals all season, to lead the line - while Joao Mario may also be excluded after he and Gabigol headed for the changing rooms prematurely when they realised they weren’t going to be used as subs against Lazio.

Double chance: away win or draw - 3.25

 

Palermo - Empoli

A draw might not be enough for Empoli - they need a win to be absolutely certain of staying up for another year. And they would be naïve to presume that Palermo will roll over. Although relegated, the Sicilians beat Genoa earlier this month, at a time when the latter club was still fighting for survival.

Empoli are without their most important creative player, Omar El Kaddouri, who is serving a suspension. But I do suspect that they have come too far to let things slip now.

Away win - 1.52

 

Torino - Sassuolo

Can Joe Hart end his Torino adventure with an overdue clean sheet? The odds are not in his favour. Sassuolo have scored at least twice for six games running, and just beat Cagliari 6-2.

Torino’s results, by contrast, have slipped, although there was a feel-good story for the club this week as it reopened the much loved Stadio Filadelfia as a training ground. In any case, it would be a surprise to see a side which has been so attack-minded throughout the season change its philosophy now.

Over 3.5 goals - 1.74