Pescara 2.45, the draw 3.25, Palermo 2.8
If misery likes company, then these two should be delighted to see one another. Pescara and Palermo have one point each, as well as matching -7 goal differences, and would be the bottom two clubs in the division were it not for Siena’s points deduction. Palermo showed little sign of a new-manager boost during Gian Piero Gasperini’s first game in charge on Sunday, whereas Pescara finally claimed their first point despite having goalkeeper Mattia Perrin sent off. They will be without him and the injured Francesco Modesto, yet I would still be tempted by odds of 2.45 on the home win.
Milan 1.65, the draw 3.55, Cagliari 5.5
It is now a combined eight games without a home win for Milan’s two clubs since the new, partially synthetic pitch, was laid at San Siro in the summer. Standing in the Rossoneri’s favour is the fact that they have won the last eight editions of this fixture. Against them is the fact that, with the exception of one rogue away win over Bologna, so far this season they have been woeful. Truthfully, I expect Milan to win this game. But from a betting value standpoint, odds of 5.0 on Milan failing to score – which they have done in all three of their home fixtures so far this season – are tempting.
Catania 2.1, the draw 3.15, Atalanta 3.6
Atalanta have done well to wipe out their two-point deduction swiftly and climb confidently up to midtable. It is a feat rendered more unlikely by the fact they have only scored three goals in four games. Given such modest offensive output from the visitors, the odds on a home clean sheet seem generous at 2.6.
Chievo 2.9, the draw 3.15, Inter 2.45
As bad as Inter have been at home, they are thus far perfect on their travels – having beaten Hajduk Split, Vaslui, Pescara and Torino without conceding a goal. With Cristian Chivu returning to fitness, their manager, Andrea Stramaccioni, may press ahead with his plans to trial a three-man defence. What Inter really need to work out, though, is where the goals are going to come from when Diego Milito is not scoring them. For now, back him to add his third of the season against a team who have already conceded seven.
Genoa 2.3, the draw 3.15, Parma 3.1
A Genoa team who have overspent and underdelivered so often in recent years appear to have stumbled into a better place in a year of modest outlay, the strike partnership of Marco Borriello and Ciro Immobile showing itself capable in recent weeks of troubling teams as good as Juventus and Lazio. Little surprise, then, that even as he contemplates as many as five changes for the team to face Parma, the manager Luigi De Canio looks set to stick with his first-choice pairing up front. With those two in place, take the home win at 2.3.
Napoli 1.85, the draw 3.35, Lazio 4.25
Both of these would-be challengers slipped up at the weekend, Napoli unable to break down a 10-man Catania at the Stadio Massimino while Lazio suffered a surprise reverse at home to Genoa. Too much should not be read into the latter, with the Biancocelesti playing well but caught out on the counter. More troubling for Vladimir Petkovic’s team going into this encounter is a foot injury which could keep Hernanes out of this game. Without the Brazilian Lazio would lose a key creative element. Should he miss out, consider the Napoli clean sheet at 2.7.
Roma 1.62, the draw 3.8, Sampdoria 5.25
Roma finally collected their first clean sheet under Zdenek Zeman on Sunday. Admittedly, that was only because their match against Cagliari was never actually played: the Giallorossi awarded a 3-0 win after it was abandoned for safety reasons. Cagliari’s president, Massimo Cellino, had invited fans to show up anyway for a match that was supposed to be played behind closed doors. Roma’s attacking verve has been offset by defensive frailty so far this season, but the good news here is that Samp will be without the suspended Maxi Lopez up front. Take the home win, even at 1.62.
Torino 2.3, the draw 3.25, Udinese 3.1
Rotation is the name of the game for both teams, with Udinese seeking the right balance for what will be their third game in seven days and Torino pondering whether Alessio Cerci, not yet at full fitness following a knee injury, can go again so soon after playing the full 90 minutes of their draw with Sampdoria. Udinese have struggled at the back following a fresh wave of summer departures but remain opportunistic going forward, so I like odds of 2.1 on more than 2.5 goals being scored in the game.
Siena 2.15, the draw 3.25, Bologna 3.35
Siena were rewarded for an attacking gameplan against Inter on Sunday, but with Alberto Gilardino and Alessandro Diamanti up front Bologna are a capable team on the counter. Given that Siena have failed to win any of their last five at home in Serie A dating back to last season, Bologna may be worth considering in the double chance market at 1.66.