Serie A Betting: Weekend Tips



Saturday

Palermo 2.20, the draw 3.20, Cagliari 3.40

Palermo’s president, Maurizio Zamparini, wrote an open letter to the club’s supporters this week, asking them to get behind the team despite 3-0 defeats in each of their opening two league fixtures. In it he contended that the team which had beaten Inter 4-3 in the opening game of last season was no stronger than that which they have now.

Sadly, team captain Fabrizio Miccoli disagreed, noting how the team had since then dismantled almost its entire defence, selling Matías Silvestre to Inter, Mattia Cassani to Fiorentina and Federico Balzaretti to Roma. Making matters worse is the fact that the Rosanero now have injury problems with a number of their replacements. With Cagliari also starting poorly, the game could go either way but expect goals. Take both teams to score at 1.83.

Milan 1.45, the draw 4.15, Atalanta 7.50

There is an air of instability around Milan at the moment, with the manager Massimiliano Allegri and vice-president Adriano Galliani said to be at loggerheads over everything from transfer policy to the causes of the club’s atrocious injury record over the last two seasons. There was another alarm on that front on Thursday when Giampaolo Pazzini had to leave training early, but at time of writing he is still expected to start in this game.

Either way, with Nigel de Jong making his first start the team should be at least more solid defensively. The Milan clean sheet looks reasonable value at 2.05.

Sunday

Chievo 2.90, the draw 3.1, Lazio 2.55

It has not taken long for the mood among Lazio’s supporters to switch from mutinous to merry, a troubling preseason giving way to a promising first few weeks in the real thing. Wins over Atalanta and Palermo place the Biancocelesti level with Napoli and Juventus at the top of Serie A, while Miroslav Klose’s statement that he turned down a move to Tottenham in the summer has added to the feel-good factor.

This is where the real challenge begins for new coach Vladimir Petkovic, however, as Lazio face up to the reality of playing twice a week between Serie A and the Europa League. It has been suggested that Petkovic may rotate up front, a gamble against a Chievo team who have not conceded at home in their last four league games. The draw, at 3.10, is fairly priced.

Genoa 5.20, the draw 3.75, Juventus 1.62

If fortune favours the brave then Genoa could just be lining themselves up to become the team who end Juventus’s run of 41 league games without defeat. In training this week the manager Luigi De Canio has experimented with a three-man attack of Ciro Immobile, Marco Borriello and Bosko Jankovic. Given that both the former two are most comfortable leading the line, it is not a group that suggests excessive caution.

Perhaps that is the best route to try for Genoa, a team who are hardly built to sit back and defend, but either way more than 2.5 goals looks the obvious bet at 1.70.

Napoli 1.55, the draw 3.90, Parma 5.50

The condition of the pitch at Stadio San Paolo will be the subject of much scrutiny but Napoli fans may be more nervous about their recent record against the Ducali. Parma have triumphed on two of their three most recent league visits to Naples. The Partenopei are the better team and in good shape right now but the odds on a repeat are still tempting at 5.50.

Pescara 2.90, the draw 3.20, Sampdoria 2.45

Pescara won both meetings between these two teams last year in Serie B, going on to finish 16 points clear of Samp in the standings. But that was before the summer asset strip that saw Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile all depart – not to mention the manager Zdenek Zeman. Samp, by contrast, appear to have got stronger over the summer, and were it not for a points deduction relating to the match-fixing investigations, would presently sit alongside Juve, Lazio and Napoli at the top of the table. Take them to win the game at 2.45.

Roma 1.35, the draw 5.00, Bologna 8.00

Speaking of Zeman, he was back in the headlines again this week after declaring Giancarlo Abete, the president of the Italian Football Federation, to be “the enemy of football”. At time of writing he has not been sanctioned by the league, but that is not to say he won’t be. More immediate for fans are concerns over the fitness of Francesco Totti, after the club captain picked up an ankle injury in training.

With Pablo Daniel Osvaldo already suspended for this game Roma may be short of options up front, but that could also be good news for Mattia Destro – who scored his first international goal in Italy’s win over Malta on Tuesday. Osvaldo’s absence should mean that Destro gets the chance to start in a central position instead of out wide, and against a Bologna team who have conceded five goals in two games he would be a good bet to get his name on the scoresheet.

Siena 2.55, the draw 3.20, Udinese 2.80

Two teams who have collected just a single point between them so far. Siena drew their season opener at home to Torino, yet still they find themselves looking up at Udinese in the standings, having started the season with a six-point penalty. Despite that it is the Friuliani who seem to be in a worse place right now, having sold a number of key players over the summer and now lost Luis Muriel for two months to injury. The home win appeals at 2.55.

Torino 3.30, the draw 3.20, Inter 2.20

Curiously, Inter have performed better away this season than they have at home. Including Europa League qualifiers, they have won all three of their fixtures outside of San Siro – scoring 10 goals and conceding none. At home they have drawn one and lost two, scoring three goals and conceding seven.

More troubling than that statistic for Torino will be the fact that Inter can now count once more on Samir Handanovic – who had missed the Nerazzurri’s first two league games following his move from Udinese on account of a minor knee surgery. With him back in the line-up, consider the Inter clean sheet at 2.95.