Saturday, February 25th
Genoa v Parma (5pm)
Home win: 6/5 Draw: 21/10 Away win: 12/5
Key stat: Genoa have conceded in their last eight home games, including two against Lazio, Udinese and Napoli.
Betting tip: Parma’s recent form justifies betting on them to find the back of the net at the Luigi Ferraris. Pasquale Marino’s three-man defence is unlikely to stop the attacking talent at Roberto Donadoni’s disposal, as Parma look for their second away win since the former Italy manager took over. At 7/5, Parma can be backed to score once, while 333/100 says they’ll score in both halves. Were Sebastian Giovinco and Co. to truly find their feet, they could net at least twice at 9/5.
AC Milan v Juventus (7.45 pm)
Home win: 5/4 Draw: 11/5 Away win: 11/5
Key Stat: Milan are without form players Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Maxi Lopez.
Betting Tip: Massimiliano Allegri’s side has doubtless lost some of its attacking bite, so much so that the Tuscan manager has already claimed that he’d be happy with an ugly win. He can only rely on a young Stephan El Shaarawy and a returning Alexandre Pato to lead the line. At 53/100, bank on Juventus to stop Milan scoring more than once, as the Old Lady have only ever conceded more than one goal on the road on one occasion, and that was against a fiery Napoli side in that spectacular 3-3 draw back in November.
Sunday, February 26th
Siena v Palermo (7.45 pm)
Home win: 23/20 Draw: 11/5 Away win: 12/5
Key Stat: Everything seems to be against the visitors, as they have not won on the road this season and are missing Abel Hernandez.
Betting Tip: It might seem strange, then, that I am backing the Rosanero to come away with all three points: then again, Siena’s defence is hardly an insurmountable obstacle, whilst Fabrizio Miccoli’s return, as well as his side’s more assured performances away from the Barbera since Bortolo Mutti’s takeover, seem to indicate that the visitors will finally break their season-long duck on the road.
Atalanta v Roma (3.00 pm)
Home win: 2/1 Draw: 11/5 Away win: 27/20
Key Stat: Roma have lost five out of seven games in Francesco Totti’s absence.
Betting Tip: Roma’s current inconsistency could cost them two points at the Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, as Atalanta have not conceded a single goal in their last three games and look a far better proposition than they did when they lost here against both Milan and Juventus. Roma, for their part, look less threatening without Francesco Totti. They won’t score a hatful of goals, but can still count on Erik Lamela or Miralem Pjanic to make the difference with a killer pass. At 7/10, bet on a tight match with two goals or less.
Cagliari v Lecce (3.00 pm)
Home win: 3/4 Draw: 12/5 Away win: 39/10
Key Stat: Albin Ekdal and Daniele Dessena’s recent late goals against Roma and Palermo prove how Cagliari have made up for their faults in front of goal with some late, crucial goals.
Betting Tip: Bet on the second half to see more than one goal, quoted at 13/10, as Cagliari look to exploit any weakness come the last 15 minutes.
Catania v Novara (3.00 pm)
Home win: 11/20 Draw: 27/10 Away win: 11/2
Key Stat: Novara have only conceded two goals since Emiliano Mondonico’s takeover, and both of those came against Chievo in his first game in charge.
Betting Tip: Catania’s recent good form has seen them draw against Roma, take the lead against Juventus and win against Siena on the road. Bet on Vincenzo Montella’s side to win by a one goal margin at least, priced at 12/5.
Chievo v Cesena (3.00 pm)
Home win: 93/10 Draw: 11/5 Away win: 63/20
Key Stat: Cesena’s away record makes for interesting reading: 2 wins, 1 draw and 9 defeats don’t bode well for them.
Betting Tip: They might have lost their last three games at home, but the Flying Donkeys are too tough a proposition for their visitors, as they look to leapfrog both Catania and Cagliari and snatch eighth place. At 9/5, bet on them to win to nil.
Bologna v Udinese (7.45 pm)
Home win: 29/20 Draw: 21/10 Away win: 39/20
Key Stat: Three against PAOK in the Europa League, one against Inter, two in Florence and one in Turin: Udinese are rarely boring away from home.
Betting Tip: At 5/4, bet on a Bologna side fresh from their victory over Inter to contest a game with Udinese which features over 2.5 goals.
Napoli v Inter (7.45 pm)
Home win: 4/5 Draw: 5/2 Away win: 67/20
Key Stat: Does Inter’s recent dip in form (and awful bad luck) really need an explanation? Otherwise, Napoli’s current 5-0 advantage over their previous two encounters could serve as a useful guide.
Betting Tip: Walter Mazzarri’s men to win to nil at 9/5. That 3-1 victory over Chelsea will provide them with the confidence and energy which they have sorely missed over the past couple of months. Inter, on the other hand, have only scored in one of their last seven games since winning against Lazio, that match also being a rare occasion when the Nerazzurri came back from behind to win. Don’t bet on them to do so here. Against Bologna, they collapsed once they let in the first, and they are likely to do so again.
Lazio v Fiorentina (7.45 pm)
Home win: 11/10 Draw: 43/20 Away win: 13/5
Key Stat: Both sides have not enjoyed the past two weeks, with Fiorentina losing to Bologna and Napoli, whilst Lazio had to withstand a humiliating defeat to Atletico Madrid, even losing at home in the return leg.
Betting Tip: A draw seems the most likely outcome for two sides still shell-shocked and unable to find their rhythm.
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