Catania 5.25, the draw 3.6, Juventus 1.68
The Juventus team which has dominated Serie A for more than a year once again had its shortcomings exposed in Europe on Tuesday – held to a 1-1 draw away to the Danish side Nordsjaelland. The absence of a world class forward to lead the line might not have hurt them domestically, but in the Champions League it has come to look like a glaring omission.
Catania will not make life easy for a tired and potentially dispirited team. Always strong at home, the Elefanti have dropped just two points so far this season at the Massimino – scoring seven goals in four games. They are tempting in the double chance market at 2.16.
Bologna 3.6, the draw 3.25, Inter 2.1
By contrast to Juventus, Inter were able to use their European commitments this week to build further momentum – a 1-0 win over Partizan extending their winning sequence to six games in all competitions.
Rodrigo Palacio opened his Europa League account for Inter with his first shot on target in the competition, but it is at the other end where they are most impressing, with goalkeeper Samir Handanovic keeping a third consecutive clean sheet. Back him to do so again at 2.44.
Pescara 2.9, the draw 3.0, Atalanta 2.6
Germán Denis was among the breakout players of 2011-12, reaching double figures in Serie A for the first time.
He finished with 16 goals in 33 games for Atalanta, but just two months into the new campaign fans are already beginning to wonder if that was nothing more than an anomaly – the striker having so far this season managed just two in eight. Pescara, too, have struggled in that department, failing to score in half their games so far. Consider the goalless draw at 8.25.
Sampdoria 2.15, the draw 3.2, Cagliari 3.5
When it rains, it pours in Serie A – as Ciro Ferrara is finding out. The Samp manager was widely feted after his team’s fast start to the season, but they are now five games without a league win and go into this fixture without their goalkeeper Sergio Romero after he was sent off in last week’s defeat at Parma. Were it not for that fact I might suggest betting on under 2.5 goals between two teams who are hardly prolific, but as it is I would back the draw at 3.2.
Torino 2.1, the draw 3.25, Parma 3.6
Angelo Ogbonna’s presence is in doubt for Torino after the centre-back developed a nerve inflammation around his pelvic region. Although not as serious as initially feared, the condition will likely require a period of rest.
That is a blow to a defence that has hitherto been solid, but the greater concern for Torino might be what they can manage at the other end, having failed to score in their last three home games. The perfect tonic might be a Parma defence who have conceded eight in four games on their travels. Take both teams to score at 1.95.
Napoli 1.36, the draw 4.5, Chievo 9.0
Unbeaten domestically until last Saturday, Napoli will enter this game on the back of two defeats in eight days – having followed up their loss to Juventus with another to FC Dnipro in the Europa League. It would be wrong to read too much into the latter – given that the team fielded by Walter Mazzarri included just two players who had faced Juve – but nevertheless the Partenopei will be eager to make a statement back at home on Sunday.
There is no value, of course, in backing Napoli just to win, so instead try them in the one-goal handicap market at 2.04. Chievo have thus far posted a -7 goal difference in their three away games.
Roma 1.6, the draw 4.25, Udinese 5.0
All is peaceful in the Roma camp once more, at least until the next inevitable drama. Daniele De Rossi and Pablo Osvaldo, excluded without warning from Roma’s win over Atalanta just before the international break, returned to each play a leading role in last weekend’s 4-2 victory over Genoa.
Instead of working with an unhappy group of players, though, Zdenek Zeman is now having to deal with an injury-diminished one – Francesco Totti, Federico Balzaretti and Rodrigo Taddei among those whose status is in doubt for Sunday. Nevetheless, with Mattia Destro among those waiting to step in, back Roma to score in both halves at 2.1.