Serie A Betting: Lazio to bounce back against Napoli



Saturday

Juventus 1.62, the draw 3.65, Fiorentina 5.75

At least one Fiorentina player will be well-supported at Juventus Stadium this weekend. “I’ve requested 300 seats in the away end,” quipped the goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano on Thursday – exaggerating, but only slightly. Viviano, who grew up in Florence watching games from the terraces of the Stadio Artemio Franchi, still considers himself a Fiorentina supporter first and foremost – as do the friends and family who will follow him to Turin for the latest instalment of their team’s biggest rivalry.

Viviano, though, will be under scrutiny. The keeper lost his place in the team at the end of 2012 after a string of questionable performances and only won it back last week. He kept a clean sheet in the 2-0 win over Parma, Fiorentina’s first win of 2013, but can expect to be tested further here. His team have not beaten Juve in their last nine attempts. I don’t like Fiorentina’s chances but I don’t like the odds on Juve either. Consider over 2.5 goals at 1.9 instead.

Lazio 2.8, the draw 3.2, Napoli 2.5

Louis Saha arrived in Rome on Wednesday to fill the Miroslav Klose-shaped hole in Lazio’s attack. There’s an obvious gag in here somewhere about replacing one hobbled player with another who is famously injury-prone, but the truth is that the move makes good sense. With the transfer window shut, Lazio’s only option was to consider free agents and Saha at least has a better goal-scoring pedigree than Klose’s current replacement Sergio Floccari.

It is not clear whether Saha will be ready to play this weekend, and Napoli may feel that this is a good moment to face Lazio, who have won just one of their last four games in all competitions. Then again, that win was against Juve. You do not often see Lazio priced as high as 2.8 for any home game, and with good reason – they do not drop a lot of points at the Stadio Olimpico. Get behind the home team.

Sunday

Parma 1.85, the draw 3.4, Genoa 4.5

The new year has not been kind to Parma so far, Roberto Donadoni’s team recording just a single win – at home to notoriously poor travellers Palermo. They have also just lost their starting goalkeeper Antonio Mirante to a knee injury. Genoa have spent most of the season at the far end of the table, but since Davide Ballardini took charge at the end of last month they have drawn with Juventus and beaten Lazio. If you were looking for an upset this weekend, this might be it.

Atalanta 2.25, the draw 3.2, Catania 3.25

Fresh from an away victory over one Sicilian side, Atalanta return home to face another. Catania are a better team than their neighbours Palermo, but despite two wins in their last four away games remain a very different side on their travels. They have failed to score in five times in 11 matches on the road, and the home clean sheet is available at 2.65.

Bologna 1.85, the draw 3.5, Siena 4.25

Two wins in three games have been enough to peel Siena off the foot of the table for the first time since the beginning of December. New signings Francesco della Rocca and Innocent Emeghara have reinvigorated the team and were the stars of last week’s 3-1 victory over Inter. Bologna, though, have shown improved form, too. My money would be on over 2.5 goals in the game at 2.15 – a bet which would have paid out in six of Bologna’s last seven league games.
 
Cagliari 4.5, the draw 3.65, Milan 1.75

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: at time of writing it is not entirely clear where this game will even take place – if it even does – after local authorities ruled the Sardinian club’s IS Arenas stadium unfit for use. The game is now scheduled to be played in Turin, though there was still speculation last night that the club might try to fight the verdict. From a betting standpoint, I would just steer clear.

Palermo 1.55, the draw 3.85, Pescara 6.25

Just the third manager this season for the Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini, whose car was attacked by fans in the city this week after he parted ways with Gian Piero Gasperini and the sporting director Pietro Lo Monaco, but who has insisted he is not unduly troubled by the prospect of relegation – saying his team would come straight back up. Not the most motivational of notes on which to send them out for their fresh start under new boss Alberto Malesani.

Palermo are a better team at home than on their travels, while Malesani is not the only new face in town after a busy transfer window. But the odds on the home win feel far too short for a team that sits last in the table with three wins all season. I like the draw at 3.85.

Sampdoria 3.4, the draw 3.25, Roma 2.15

At Roma, too, there is a new man in charge – the club’s tactics coach Aurelio Andreazzoli stepping in to replace Zdenek Zeman after the latter was fired last week. The assumption is that things should improve soon enough for a Roma team with plenty of quality running through it, but they are priced far too short for a team that has not won a league game yet this year. Take the home win at 3.4.

Udinese 1.95, the draw 3.35, Torino 4.0

Udinese will attempt to put last week’s refereeing controversies – when they were denied a point against Milan by a scandalous penalty decision from the referee Paolo Valeri – behind them against a Torino team in good form. The Granata have not lost a game yet in 2013, and the expected return of Angelo Ogbonna to the side – even if only on the bench – provides a further boost. They are good value for the draw at 3.35.

Inter 1.55, the draw 3.8, Chievo 6.5

Matches between these two teams at San Siro only tend to go one way. Inter have won the last six, and they haven’t even conceded a goal in any of the last four. Offsetting that head-to-head record, though, is the fact that Inter have won just one of their last seven games. Chievo are available at 2.4 in the double chance market.


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