Serie A Betting: Weekend Tips



Saturday

Milan 1.48, the draw 4.0, Chievo 6.25

We wait with baited breath to see what formation Massimiliano Allegri will dream up next, the Milan manager’s innovative take on the 3-5-2 – starring four central midfielders and a single wing-back – having been less than warmly received by the club’s hierarchy. The vice-president Adriano Galliani expressed his displeasure to Allegri over the manager’s approach following the 2-2 draw at Palermo on Tuesday, but claims they are now back on good terms.

Chievo picked up a win against Pescara in their midweek outing but will be without a number of players, including Bostjan Cesar, Gennaro Sardo and Alberto Paloschi. They have lost their last 11 games against Milan in all competitions, but rather than bet on the result I’d much sooner back Stephan El Shaarawy to get his name on the scoresheet – as he has in six of the Rossoneri’s last seven Serie A games.

Sunday

Pescara 3.0, the draw 3.3 Parma 2.3

The morale levels at these two clubs could hardly be more contrasting, with Pescara retreating into ‘ritiro’ – a closed training camp – after their third defeat in four games, and Parma celebrating a third win in as many games.

There is no questioning what is at stake for the Pescara manager Giovanni Stroppa, who was warned by the team president Daniele Sabatini on Thursday that “the team must win, and it must convince.” But if anything, such an open threat, allied to the dark mood in the stands at the Stadio Adriatico, seems likely only to heighten the nervousness among this group of players. The away win, at 2.3, makes sense.

Bologna 2.45, the draw 3.25, Udinese 2.8

Last summer Udinese sold Samir Handanovic, Mauricio Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah – to name but a few. The year before that it was Alexis Sánchez, Gokhan Inler and Cristián Zapata. If this team has somehow remained competitive through all those departures it is a credit to the manager Francesco Guidolin but also to Antonio Di Natale up front. In the three seasons prior to this one he scored 80 league goals. So far in this campaign he has six in seven games.

The problem with that, of course, is knowing what to do when he is absent. Right now Di Natale is a doubt for Sunday’s game. Only one other player on the team has more than one goal this season – new signing Maicosuel, with two.  Bologna are struggling this season, and have lost their last four, but if Di Natale does indeed miss out, I’m looking for the draw at 3.25.

Catania 2.5, the draw 3.2, Lazio 2.8

Lazio are not quite so reliant as Udinese on their leading man up front, Miroslav Klose, but his suspension is nevertheless a significant blow when travelling to face a Catania team whose home form had been excellent prior to the highly controversial defeat to Juventus last weekend. Barring any further refereeing calamities, I think the Sicilian side represent good value at 2.5.

Fiorentina 1.6, the draw 3.6, Cagliari 5.75

All of a sudden Cagliari’s bleak start to this season – two points from their first six games and a brand new stadium which fans were not allowed to enter – seems like a distant memory. The new management team of Ivo Pulga and Diego Lopez have overseen four straight wins since taking charge, a run that has taken Cagliari all the way up to seventh.

This will be a greater challenge, though, against a Fiorentina team who are also in fine form – dropping just two points over the same spell. Rather than betting on the result, back the Viola to keep a clean sheet at 1.9; they have done so in their last four home games.

Napoli 1.55, the draw 3.8, Torino 6.0

Another team whose reliance on a single striker has been exposed of late, Napoli have managed just one goal in two games with Edinson Cavani out injured – despite creating a host of chances. His status for Sunday’s game against Torino is unclear at time of writing, so it is worth waiting for confirmation on that front before staking any wager on this game. If he is absent, Torino become tempting in the double chance market at 2.4.

Sampdoria 2.25, the draw 3.2, Atalanta 3.2

The form guide does not make pleasant reading for Sampdoria – laying out their grim descent from an impressive start down into the depths. Ciro Ferrara’s team have lost five in a row and are without a win since 16 September. Like Pescara, Samp have also ordered their players into a closed training camp ahead of the weekend’s game – but unlike that club’s manager, Ferrara still has the outspoken backing of club management. Atalanta could be the ideal tonic for Samp – a team who despite an improvement in their general form have still scored just three goals away from home in five attempts. The home clean sheet is available at 2.55.

Siena 2.2, the draw 3.25, Genoa 3.2

Gigi Del Neri has not enjoyed the most straightforward of starts to life as Genoa manager, the schedule pitting his team against Milan and Fiorentina in the two games since he took charge. But after consecutive losses in those games, there is pressure for his team to get at least some kind of result against Siena, who would sit level with Genoa in the table were it not for their six-point deduction. With Siena scoring just four times at home so far this season and Genoa the same number on their travels, my bet would be on under 1.5 goals at 2.9.

Roma 1.55, the draw 4.0, Palermo 5.75

What more can we say about Roma, who in the past week have lost 3-2 to each of Udinese and Parma after scoring first on both occasions? At least the Giallorossi find themselves in good company – they face a Palermo team who held a 2-0 lead against Milan with just over 20 minutes to play on Tuesday night but wound up having to settle for a draw.

Palermo have collected a mere two points away from home this season – scoring just a single goal – but given the Giallorossi’s proclivity for throwing away results, anything seems possible. I would be inclined to back the visitors in the double chance market at 2.4.