Saturday, January 14th
Catania v AS Roma (5.45 pm)
Home win: 43/20 Draw: 9/4 Away win: 5/4
Betting tip: Who would have foreseen AS Roma’s recent recovery? Over the past few weeks, Luis Enrique (who deserves full credit for his good work) has finally swung the team behind him, his defence is unbeaten in 278 minutes, whilst Daniele De Rossi might just stay following negotiations with the club. Catania’s recent inconsistency has seen them win only one of their last four home games, even losing to strugglers Novara. At 18/5, expect Roma to win despite a 1:0 deficit.
Sunday, January 15th
Lazio v Atalanta (11.30 am)
Home win: 77/100 Draw: 47/20 Away win: 77/20
Betting tip: Lazio’s 4-0 mauling at the Franchi was as unexpected as it was farcical. Though the Biancocelesti made up for it in the Coppa Italia with a win against Serie B high-fliers Verona, they still look frail at the back, having conceded eight goals over their last four games. Not an ideal scenario against Atalanta, especially not with German Denis and Maxi Moralez on such hot form. To avoid always betting on this fantastic duo, I recommend taking the 3/1 on the visitors making the most of a tired and slightly shell-shocked Lazio side by scoring the first goal in the first half, quoted at 3/1.
Cesena v Novara (2pm)
Home win: 19/20 Draw: 11/5 Away win: 61/20
Betting tip: Expect a tense, tedious game, where both sides will be more scared of defeat than they will be willing to go for broke. Despite losing their last two matches 4-1, Daniele Arrigoni’s side have the offensive prowess (notoriously Adrian Mutu) to make a difference, as well as the home factor. Bet on them breaking through, but only in the second half, as Novara look to shut up shot and rescue a point. A draw/Cesena win at half time/full time is at 15/4.
Chievo v Palermo (2pm)
Home win: 11/10 Draw: 21/10 Away win: 53/20
Betting tip: That 21/10 on the draw seems a fair bet, seeing as the Sicilians are still getting used to life under Bortolo Mutti. Their away record has been poor of late, but they’ll cause a combative Chievo side a few problems on the counter. The Veronese side have, on the other hand, been very effective of late – even beating Udinese in the Coppa Italia – and could even skip past the freefalling Sicilians should they win on Saturday.
Parma v Siena (2pm)
Home win: 11/10 Draw: 41/20 Away win: 11/4
Betting tip: A genuinely tough game to call. New Parma manager Roberto Donadoni’s arrival will hopefully herald the end of the high-scoring era for a side that has leaked eleven goals in their last three games. They’re up against a Siena side high on confidence following an impressive win against Lazio, though replicating that kind of form away from home has always been difficult. Still, at 11/4, back them to exploit Parma’s transitional period with an unprecedented away win.
Fiorentina v Lecce (2pm)
Home win: 2/5 Draw: 13/4 Away win: 29/4
Betting tip: Lecce’s odds are preposterously steep. Since Serse Cosmi’s arrival, they have been a pleasure to watch, grabbing three goals at the Ennio Tardini, two at home against Lazio in a 3-2 defeat, and performing well against Juventus at the weekend in an unfortunate 1-0 loss. Bwin’s 3Way footballing betting odds are not only seriously underestimating Lecce, but excessively backing a Fiorentina side who have already shipped two goals at home against Atalanta and are yet to fully express their potential under Delio Rossi. At 13/4, a draw is hardly out of the question, and neither are two Lecce goals at a massive 23/4.
Genoa v Udinese (2pm)
Home win: 9/5 Draw: 21/10 Away win: 31/20
Betting tip: The Pasquale Marino chapter didn’t start idyllically last week, a 3-0 defeat at the Sant’Elia proving there is still much work to be done in order to make Genoa competitive. They did buy some great players over the summer though, not least Cristobal Jorquera and Lucas Pratto, so they’ll still be a threat in front of goal. Unfortunately, they’re unlikely to succeed against Udinese, despite the visitors’ poor form on the road. Expect more than 2.5 goals and an Udinese win at 7/2.
Juventus v Cagliari (2pm)
Home win: 3/10 Draw: 15/4 Away win: 10/1
Betting tip: One of Juventus’ strengths this season is the fact that they don’t depend on anybody for goals. Eleven different players have chipped in so far – meaning that Alessandro Matri’s dry patch (which ended last week, though yours truly failed to call that one) didn’t unduly harm the Bianconeri’s chances. Now he faces Cagliari, the team that gave him a chance after he was loaned out to AC Milan. Having netted four times for Cagliari, and twice for Juve in this tie, he must surely stand out at 7/5?
AC Milan v Inter Milan (7.45 pm)
Home win: 23/20 Draw: 9/4 Away win: 47/20
Betting tip: Ignore Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has a poor scoring record against Inter. Hopefully, Massimo Allegri will have found an alternative way around an increasingly solid Inter back-line. Claudio Ranieri, for his part, is likely to field a defensive side and goad Milan into attacking. Whatever the outcome, don’t expect Milan to score in the first half, an eventuality priced at 39/50.
Monday, January 16th
Napoli v Bologna (7.45 pm)
Home win: 33/100 Draw: 18/5 Away win: 9/1
Betting tip: Here’s another mistake I made last week- not giving enough credit to Walter Mazzarri’s tactical acumen, not to mention his side’s chances of winning! The Azzurri are back in the title race and are unlikely to let lowly Bologna intimidate them. Edinson Cavani has netted five times in as many games at home – back him to open the scoring at 7/2. Marek Hamsik was instrumental at the Renzo Barbera and is also going through quite the spell, making him a good option to score at any time at 9/4.
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