Serie A betting: Cup finalists could struggle as league action resumes


Monday

Lazio 1.65, the draw 4.00, Verona 5.25

For the first time in a very long time, Lazio manager Edy Reja could have most of his first-team squad available for selection. The likes of Miroslav Klose, Federico Marchetti, André Dias and Giuseppe Biava all returned to training last week, while Stefan Radu and Diego Novaretti are both set to return from suspensions.

Their availability comes at an important moment. Lazio and Verona are both level on 52 points, making this a crucial fixture for both teams as they chase a Europa League berth. The visitors arrive in good form, having won four of their last five games. I would not make Verona favourites by any stretch, but to me the odds seem too far skewed in favour of Lazio. The visitors are a good price in the double chance market at 2.25.

 

Juventus 1.22, the draw 6.35, Atalanta 15.00

This was supposed to be the game in which Juventus finally sealed their third consecutive Scudetto. Instead, Roma did the job for them by losing to last-placed Catania. The Bianconeri will still be keen to celebrate their achievement in style here, and Antonio Conte is keen for his team to press on and break the Serie A points record set by Inter in 2010. But it is also true that he gave his players leave to go out and celebrate their title on Sunday night.

Could that affect their performance here? I suspect that the Bianconeri will still win, but the odds on them doing so are too short to be worthwhile. Instead consider backing both teams to score at 2.20. Atalanta have done so at least once in all of their last five away games.

 

Tuesday

Fiorentina 1.52, the draw 4.40, Sassuolo 6.00

The wait for the first trophy of the Della Valle era goes on for another year. Fiorentina have been unfortunate with injuries throughout this season, and losing Juan Cuadrado to suspension for Saturday’s cup final against Napoli turned out to be one blow too many. Now, with fourth place all but guaranteed, will they have sufficient motivation to fight past opponents who are doing all they can to survive?

I have my doubts, especially after such an emotionally draining fixture. The draw, at 4.40, looks tempting.

 

Napoli 1.36, the draw 5.00, Cagliari 9.00

Similar questions could be asked about Napoli, who are in little danger of losing third spot (by the time they kick off on Tuesday, it might even be formally sewn up) and who have had a worrying habit this season of taking their eye off the ball in fixtures immediately after a big cup game. Cagliari, mathematically safe from relegation, might theoretically be lacking in motivation, but have played very well over the last few weeks.

At 3.20 in the double chance market, I’d say they’re worth a shot.