Serie A Betting: Juventus to triumph in must-win game over Parma


Saturday

Parma 4.3, the draw 3.7, Juventus 1.75

“We’ve finally hit our stride,” said Andrea Pirlo after Juventus’s 4-0 rout of Catania on Wednesday night. The Sicilians had not provided the stoutest of opposition, but this was exactly the sort of confident performance that Juve had been missing this season. It was only the fourth clean sheet they had kept in all competitions, and the third only arrived three days earlier. 

Antonio Conte must seek to maintain that momentum, while also keeping players fresh for next Tuesday’s critical Champions League game against Real Madrid. Some rotation is inevitable, but any danger of Juve losing focus on the task at hand was likely averted by Roma’s win over Chievo on Thursday. The Bianconeri know they cannot afford any slip-ups domestically if they want to stay in touch at the top of Serie A. Away win.

Milan 2.05, the draw 3.4, Fiorentina 3.5

For Milan, any notion of keeping pace with the leaders has been shelved for the time being. After 10 games they are already 18 points behind Roma and would be content simply to string together a positive string of results. Kaká’s rapidly improving form is a major boost in that regard, but Mario Balotelli has been poor in recent games and the defence remains a mess.

The Rossoneri might have a hard time righting their ship against Fiorentina, who arrive with large chips on their shoulders after being denied a last-minute penalty during their defeat at home to Napoli. Instead of getting a spot-kick, the Viola instead saw Juan Cuadrado wrongly sent off for simulation (he had already been booked once for that offence). Barring a late appeal, they will have to do without the forward here. Even so, it is hard to justify such short odds on Milan. Try the draw. 

Napoli 1.25, the draw 6.0, Catania 10.0

Of Italy’s three Champions League representatives, Napoli have by far the most straightforward task this weekend. Catania’s five away games so far this season have yielded five defeats, with just three goals scored and 13 conceded. Napoli are a solid choice to win with a one-goal handicap at 1.78.

Sunday

Livorno 2.7, the draw 3.1, Atalanta 2.65

File this story under ‘only in Italy’. On Wednesday Livorno had to make do without their midfielder Luca Siligardi after he was suspended for blaspheming on camera. The player had not even been directing his ire at an official or opponent, but simply cursing himself out after a missed opportunity. 

He will be available for selection again here as Livorno look to get back on track after seven games without a win. Atalanta have been poor on their travels, but are coming off a confidence-boosting draw at home to Inter. Consider the draw at 3.1.

Lazio 1.58, the draw 3.8, Genoa 5.75

Last season Hernanes was Lazio’s greatest asset. This year he is at risk of becoming a liability. “From Prophet to problem,” ran the headline in La Repubblica this week, and other outlets toyed with variations on that theme. Vladimir Petkovic’s tactical tinkering has seen the Brazilian deployed in a range of different roles, instead of being kept in his preferred spot in central midfield. His form has dipped drastically as a consequence. 

But if he and his team have stuttered at times then they have still been consistent at home, collecting 13 points from five games. The odds on a Lazio victory are a little short, but you could add a little value by backing them to win without conceding at 2.4. They have given up just two goals in six home games across all competitions.

Sampdoria 2.0, the draw 3.35, Sassuolo 3.65

Delio Rossi’s decision to try a four-man defence against Verona proved to be ill-advised. After collecting seven points from their previous three games, Sampdoria looked disjointed in their new formation and duly lost, 2-0. The manager is expected to revert to a 3-4-1-2 against Sassuolo, and has good reasons to feel confident of a better outcome. The newly-promoted side have scored just twice on their travels this season. Home win. 

Udinese 2.6, the draw 3.3, Inter 2.6

After suffering their first home defeat of the season at the weekend, Udinese secured their first away win on Wednesday. Francesco Guidolin’s team remains an never-ending work-in-progress. Following the usual Udinese model, this year’s group will finally come together in the final two months of the campaign, at which point the best players will be sold. 

Inter, too, are experiencing some growing pains under Walter Mazzarri, and the incoming owner, Erick Thohir, has already stated that he plans to reinforce the squad in January. But for this weekend I would consider the overs (2.0); seven of the last eight meetings between these teams have yielded three goals or more. 

Verona 2.05, the draw 3.4, Cagliari 3.5

Only three teams in Serie A are yet to drop points at home this season. Remarkably, Verona are among them. So far this season, Hellas have beaten Milan, Sassuolo, Livorno, Parma and Sampdoria at the Bentegodi. They are quite capable of extending that run against a Cagliari team that is still reeling from a 3-0 mauling by Bologna, and which will be without starting left-back Nicola Murru after he was sent off in that game.   

Torino 4.0, the draw 3.3, Roma 1.95

Ten games, 30 points, 24 goals scored and only one conceded. Roma are now officially in the midst of the best start any team has ever made in Serie A history. One more victory would match the 11 consecutive wins achieved by Bill Nicholson’s Tottenham team to start the 1960-61 First Division season. The European record is still a little way off yet, however. Over in Portugal, Benfica went 23 games before dropping their first points in 1972-73.

In any case, Torino are not to be taken lightly. They have been one of the most unpredictable teams in Serie A this season, playing out see-saw 3-3 draws with both Inter and Livorno in the last fortnight. They might well be capable of ending Roma’s run of seven games without conceding, but I would still back the visitors to win at 1.95.

Monday

Bologna 2.0, the draw 3.2, Chievo 3.8

What a difference a week makes. Seven days ago, Bologna were the only team left in the division without a victory. Since then they have won twice. Now they are the ones looking down on last-placed Chievo, who have lost six in a row. But the Flying Donkeys showed even in defeat to Roma that they are no pushovers. I like the draw here.  



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