Serie A betting: Parma's Antonio Cassano can keep rolling back the years against Genoa


Saturday

Torino 1.62, the draw 3.7, Livorno 5.45

A month ago, Torino’s attack was the talk of the league, the prolific partnership of Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile propelling the Granata towards Europe and drawing comparisons with the ‘Goal Twins’ Francesco Graziani and Paolo Pulici, who fired the club to its most recent Scudetto back in 1976. But lately something has gone awry. Torino have failed to find the net in four games running. Cerci and Immobile’s positions in the starting line-up have come under threat.

But this might just be the perfect opportunity to get things going again. Only Sassuolo have conceded more goals in Serie A this season than Livorno, but the latter club have also been scoring more freely of late – with nine goals in their last five games. For those reasons, I like the overs at 2.02

 

Chievo 7.0, the draw 3.85, Roma 1.5

With Daniele De Rossi suspended and Kevin Strootman undergoing surgery in Holland, Roma’s midfield suddenly looked a whole lot flimsier during Monday’s 3-2 win over Udinese. So how anxious should they be as they prepare to go on the road without both players again this weekend?

Probably not that anxious, to be honest. Chievo have one of the worst home records in the division and will themselves be without Perparim Hetemaj in midfield, as well as possibly Boukary Dramé in defence and Cyril Théréau up front. The odds are not exciting, but I will take the safe away win.

 

Sunday

Parma 1.65, the draw 3.75, Genoa 5.0

The good times keep on coming for Parma, whose unbeaten run now stands at 16 games, and for whom a rejuvenated Antonio Cassano has been in sensational form. After scoring twice against Milan last weekend, the forward might even have fought his way back into contention for Italy’s World Cup squad. Cesare Prandelli acknowledged on Thursday that the younger players who were supposed to replace Cassano in the side were not developing quite as fast as he had hoped.

For now, though, the player’s focus is all on Parma and their push for an increasingly probable Europa League berth. Back the home team to win without conceding at 2.45.

 

Bologna 2.35, the draw 3.0, Cagliari 3.2

They might finally have remembered how to score, ending a four-game goalless drought against Livorno on Sunday, but Bologna still lost, sliding back into the relegation zone. This is now a vital game against opponents who are just six points ahead and also in poor form. But I have a hard time backing either team. Given Bologna’s recent scoring record and Cagliari’s struggles on the road, I might try under 1.5 goals instead at odds of 2.8.

 

Inter 1.48, the draw 4.2, Atalanta 6.5

Three clean sheets in a row now for Inter, whose renewed defensive solidity has survived even the return of Andrea Ranocchia to their starting line-up. Last week’s confident 2-0 victory away to Verona was among the most impressive of the Nerazzurri’s campaign.

Atalanta are enjoying a good moment as well, having racked up three wins in a row, including a 1-0 triumph over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Overall, though, they have scored just nine goals scored in 14 games outside of Bergamo, and I would get behind Inter to win without conceding at 2.2.

 

Sampdoria 2.0, the draw 3.3, Verona 3.8

Verona have won away to Sampdoria just once in 23 attempts, and that was all the way back in December 1972. There was a time, earlier this season, when you might have backed them to update the statistic, but on recent form it seems less probable – even if Samp themselves were on the wrong side of a 3-0 thrashing by Atalanta last weekend.

Sinisa Mihajlovic warned that there could be changes to his starting line-up after that game, saying that his players had “broken his balls”, but if he does decide to tinker then the good news is that he has his full squad at his disposal. I am taking the home win.

 

Udinese 1.58, the draw 3.75, Sassuolo 5.75

The return of Eusebio Di Francesco has galvanised Sassuolo, whose victory over Catania on Sunday was their first in more than two months. Claiming all three points away to Udinese would be a tall order, but if Sassuolo can summon a similar performance at the Stadio Friuli, then a draw would certainly not be out of the question. At 3.75, it is well priced.

 

Napoli 1.9, the draw 3.35, Fiorentina 4.0

Both Napoli and Fiorentina had their Europa League hopes dashed on Thursday, exiting the competition at the hands of Porto and Juventus respectively. Consequently, the most important game left on the calendar for either team is the Coppa Italia final that they will play against one another on 3 May.

The only real question left for Napoli in Serie A this season is whether they will finish second or third. Fiorentina’s hopes of leapfrogging the Partenopei to claim a Champions League berth have faded badly over the last month, but they do still have a Europa League spot to defend. Although their motivations might look stronger on paper, I expect a reaction from Napoli on their own turf. Home win.

 

Catania 7.5, the draw 4.7, Juventus 1.38

Twice in a week, Andrea Pirlo has ridden to Juventus’s rescue – with late free-kicks that sealed 1-0 victories over first Genoa and then Fiorentina. The champions have been playing below their best lately, and will be tired from their midweek exploits, but 18th-placed Catania are still unlikely to have enough quality to trouble them, especially with the likes of Nicolás Spolli, Sergio Almirón and Lucas Castro all absent.

From a betting standpoint, though, I am most tempted by the overs, available at 1.96. Catania have scored seven times in their last three home games, and if they can find the net even once on Sunday, then you can be sure Juventus will be finish with more.

 

Lazio 2.4, the draw 3.25, Milan 2.85

Lazio appealed to their fans to get behind the team this week, Senad Lulic, Giuseppe Biava, Cristian Ledesma, Keita and Federico Marchetti all appearing in a YouTube video released on the club’s official account, with the title: “Together we can. Together we must”. It was a transparent attempt to pull on the heartstrings of those supporters who stayed away during their last home game against Atalanta, acting in protest against owner Claudio Lotito.

They are not expected to repeat that stunt on Sunday, with Ultras in the Curva Nord instead planning to show up but stay silent until half-time, before supporting the team fully after the break. Will Lazio reward them by beating a Milan side that has lost four games in a row? It is certainly a possibility, but I am going with the draw

 

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