Juventus 1.28, the draw 5.5, Cagliari 11.0
There were fireworks for Juventus on Wednesday, but not the footballing variety. The club’s game away to Atalanta had to be suspended for five minutes while Antonio Conte and Giorgio Chiellini went over to persuade their supporters to stop throwing explosives onto the pitch.
Juventus survived that incident, as well as their Scudetto hangovers, en route to a 1-0 win. Two more victories would give the club a new record points tally in Serie A. They should get the first of those here but the price on the home win is not especially appealing, so perhaps consider the unders instead at 2.35. Eight of Juve’s last ten games in Serie A have featured fewer than three goals.
Catania 1.28, the draw 4.8, Pescara 10.0
Catania have failed in their European bid, but this will still go down as one of the best seasons in the club’s history. Their 52 points so far are already four better than their previous top-flight record – set last season under Vincenzo Montella. They should add another three against beleaguered Pescara. Take Catania to win even with a one-goal handicap.
Fiorentina 1.4, the draw 4.5, Palermo 8.0
Palermo need at least one point, and probably three, to sustain their hopes of top-flight survival. But the first thing they need to do is show up on time. This fixture has been moved forward by two-and-a-half hours in order to accommodate the Giro d’Italia, but Palermo’s president Maurizio Zamparini has threatened to order his team to show up late unless their relegation rivals have their games re-arranged to kick-off at the same time.
In reality, scheduling ought to be the least of his worries. Fiorentina boast the third-best home record in the league, while Palermo have won just once on their travels. The hosts should win, but if you’re looking for a bet with slightly longer odds, consider the unders at 2.35. Palermo have scored just ten times away from home all season, and are not so hapless than I would expect Fiorentina to put three past them.
Chievo 3.2, the draw 2.2, Torino 3.1
There were eight away wins during the midweek round, but Chievo are the only home team in Serie A not favoured to prevail this weekend. The Flying Donkeys are coming off an impressive victory at Roma but Torino, not yet safe from relegation, have more to play for.
Chievo have also been poor at home lately, failing to score in any of their last four games at the Stadio Bentedgodi. Torino have found the net in only 11 of their 18 away games this season. This game has "goalless draw" written all over it.
Genoa 1.75, the draw 3.55, Inter 4.5
The summer cannot come soon enough for Inter, who suffered their 15th league defeat of this campaign on Wednesday, going down 3-1 at home to Lazio. Never in the club’s history have they lost more in a 38-game season. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the club’s injury crisis was further extended as Jonathan dislocated his shoulder and Andrea Ranocchia aggravated his knee injury.
And yet I am not convinced that such short odds on the Genoa victory are justifiable. The hosts are unbeaten in five, but they have won just eight games all season. Inter played well against Lazio, only to be undone by poor finishing and worse fortune. I would not go so far as to say I expect the Nerazzurri to prevail, but at odds of 4.5, I am tempted to back them.
Lazio 1.35, the draw 4.8, Sampdoria 8.5
Prior to last Sunday, Lazio had scored three goals in eight games. Now they have nine in their last two. Wins over Bologna and Inter have put the Biancocelesti back in the hunt for a Europa League berth, and they shouldn’t have too much trouble extending their run against a Samp team that hasn’t won since 3 March. Lazio are available at even money to lead at half-time and full-time.
Napoli 1.28, the draw 5.25, Siena 10.0
With second place now mathematically secure, Napoli are already turning their attentions towards next season. Rumours of a huge new contract for Edinson Cavani have gathered pace in the last 24 hours, but then so have reports of various suitors moving in to pluck the Uruguayan away. Fans at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday will not know if this is the last time they get to see their idol in a Napoli shirt.
Even Cavani probably does not know his fate at this stage but one would imagine that he will be keen to give the home support a parting gift, just in case. Back him to score on Sunday, just as he has five times in the last three games.
Udinese 1.35, the draw 4.5, Atalanta 9.5
Six consecutive wins have propelled Udinese up to fifth – a remarkable achievement for a team which endured such a slow start to the campaign. They will feel confident of making it seven from seven against opponents who are without a win in five, but once again I am inclined towards the unders (priced at 2.0). The last four league meetings between these two sides have produced a total of two goals.
Parma 1.75, the draw 3.4, Bologna 4.8,
This Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of Parma’s first-ever European trophy – the 1993 Cup Winners’ Cup. Many of the stars of that day, from Thomas Brolin to Lorenzo Minotti, are expected to be in attendance for a game that Parma ought to win. The hosts have kept five clean sheets in their last seven games, and they are good value to record another at 2.6.
Milan 1.68, the draw 3.65, Roma 5.0
Some games are all about the subtext. Milan and Roma both have important targets left to play for this season, as the Rossoneri look to tie down third place and the Giallorossi seek a way back into the Europa League places. What makes this fixture even more intriguing, however, is the fact that Roma are said to be considering the Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri as a possible replacement for their caretaker Aurelio Andreazzoli.
Andreazzoli, then, might derive a little extra satisfaction if he could claim a result here. It is certainly not inconceivable. But the smart money at the moment is on Mario Balotelli scoring. He has 11 in 11 so far for Milan, and seven in five at home.
Bet on all the weekend's Serie A games.