Serie A Betting: Rossoneri to beat Inter in Milan derby



Saturday

Palermo 2.2, the draw 3.35, Genoa 3.2

The Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has declared himself untroubled by the prospect of relegation, saying his team would come straight back up if they did go down. Lose this weekend and it might be time to start planning for that prospect. The Sicilians are bottom of the league and without a win in 11 games. They are presently six points from safety, and it is Genoa themselves who reside in 17th place.

Each team is already on its third manager of the season. Davide Ballardini seems to have improved the fortunes of Genoa – who have collected eight points from their last four games – while Alberto Malesani has drawn each of his two games in charge of Palermo. Another stalemate seems the most likely outcome in this game to me.


Sunday

Sampdoria 1.9, the draw 3.4, Chievo 4.0

Delio Rossi has certainly succeeded in tightening up the Sampdoria defence – his team keeping four clean sheets in their last six games. That statistic is rendered all the more impressive by the fact that two of them came against Milan and Napoli. Chievo are one of the lowest-scoring teams in the division, with 26 goals from 25 games, and have been held without a goal in two of their last four away games. I like the home clean sheet at 2.3.


Atalanta 3.0, the draw 3.25, Roma 2.35

A 4-1 defeat to Atalanta almost exactly 12 months ago represented one of the lowest points of Luis Enrique’s brief Roma tenure. Following last week’s 1-0 victory over Juventus, the Giallorossi ought to feel confident of avoiding a repeat.

Aurelio Andreazzoli is expected to stick with the new 3-4-2-1 formation unveiled during that game, though he will be without Francesco Totti, scorer of the only goal against Juve. Given both the forward’s absence and the suspicion that Andreazzoli is not quite so reckless as his predecessor Zdenek Zeman, it might be worth considering under 2.5 goals at even money.


Bologna 3.35, the draw 3.3, Fiorentina 2.15

As impressive as Fiorentina’s 4-1 demolition of Inter last weekend was, it is worth remembering that they had previously won just a single game in 2013. Bologna are 16th in the standings, yet they have only been beaten three times at home this season. The draw, at 3.3, could make sense.


Cagliari 2.2, the draw 3.2, Torino 3.3

Their president has spent the last week in prison, but at least Cagliari know where they’ll be playing their home game this week. The club received confirmation on Thursday that they would be permitted to play Sunday’s fixture at their own IS Arenas stadium – though only behind closed doors.

For all the off-field shenanigans around their club, Cagliari do seem to have found their stride in 2013, going unbeaten through the last six games and building a little distance between themselves and the relegation zone in the process. They will recover all three of Davide Astori, Daniele Dessena and their captain Daniele Conti from suspension this week, and could be value for the home win at 2.2.


Juventus 1.18, the draw 6.75, Siena 14.0

On paper this is an obviously one-sided match-up. Juventus are first in the table and reigning champions. Siena are 18th, and a good four points away from getting out of the relegation zone. But if you wanted an alternative perspective, then here it is: so far in 2013, Juventus have collected just 11 points from seven games. Siena have 10.

Clearly, the most likely outcome in this game is still a Juventus win, but the draw at 6.75 might not be as improbable as it first appears. My bet, though, would simply be on the Siena striker Innocent Emeghara to get his name on the scoresheet at 4.7. He has scored four times in three starts since joining the club on loan from Lorient in January.


Parma 2.1, the draw 3.3, Catania 3.45

Catania need just ten points from their remaining 11 games to make this the most successful top-flight campaign in the club’s history. If all of those fixtures were away from home, you might not fancy their chances; ten is the precise number of points they have collected in 12 fixtures away from the Stadio Angelo Massimino this season. Parma have dropped points at home recently against Juventus, Napoli and Genoa, but at 2.1 I’d back them to get back on track this weekend.


Inter 3.05, the draw 3.35, Milan 2.25

If this Milan defence can keep Leo Messi and company quiet, what hope could there be for an Inter team shorn of its most prolific forward? Antonio Cassano’s spectacular consolation strike at the end of last week’s rout by Fiorentina failed to conceal the toothlessness of their attack in Diego Milito’s absence. Even more troubling have been the performances of a defence which is missing no key parts, yet which offered less resistance to Fiorentina’s attacks than Silvio Berlusconi to temptation.

Milan are the most in-form side in Serie A, and nor is that as recent a phenomenon as some might imagine. Mario Balotelli’s arrival has certainly been an asset, but the Rossoneri have been collecting more points than anybody else in the division since mid-October. The Milan win makes sense at 2.25.


Monday

Udinese 3.05, the draw 3.25, Napoli 2.3

A limp exit from Europe for Napoli, beaten 5-0 on aggregate by Viktoria Plzen cannot be doing wonders for the morale of the team. They are now without a win in four consecutive games across all competitions. This is not the strongest Udinese side we have seen in recent years, but their home form is still imposing, with just one league defeat all year at the Stadio Friuli. Once again the draw, at 3.25, could be the way to go.


Lazio 1.22, the draw 6.0, Pescara 12.5

Vladimir Petkovic’s Lazio made light work of Borussia Monchengladbach in the Europa League, yet are without a win in five games domestically. 19th-placed Pescara should prove just the tonic his team was looking for, but since there is little value in backing the home team, I would try under 2.5 goals at 2.35 – working on the expectation that Pescara will not score, and that a Lazio team still without Miroslav Klose may struggle to reach three.

Bet on all this weekend's Serie A action with Unibet.