Talk of a balanced league. Italy’s foremost clubs have been struggling for form over the past few weeks, as Serie A’s smaller sides have proved their resiliency over and over again. Lazio have lost two of their last five games, whilst Juventus have given away four points at home after drawing with Cagliari and Siena.
That said, AC Milan probably wish they were facing a minor side (like, say, Novara) this weekend, as their poor run of form has seen them lose at home to Juventus in the Coppa Italia and crumble at the Olimpico against Lazio.
Now, the Rossoneri travel to the Friuli to face a Udinese side that is so far unbeaten on home turf. Massimo Allegri is, moreover, concerned by his side’s negative record against its rivals: so far, Milan have lost or drawn most of their top-of-the-table clashes, with only one win against Roma to show for their efforts, back when Luis Enrique’s men were still struggling to find any sort of continuity.
These factors tend to favour Udinese, who might just come away with this one, an eventuality priced at tempting odds of 3/2. Tactically speaking, Guidolin’s high-tempo football could catch Milan off guard, as the visitors’ ageing midfield will find life difficult when faced with a pacy and well-drilled 5-man midfield.
The Little Zebras also have statistics on their side, namely the fact that they have never lost a league game at home this season, nor indeed relinquished a lead at the Friuli. Five out of their last seven games have seen them score in the first half, an eventuality Milan are unlikely to react well to: so far, they have lost half of the 8 encounters in which they allowed their opponents to open the scoring.
Milan look a little lightweight up front as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s idiotic behaviour will keep him in the stands, just as his needs him the most.
Cumulating the odds of Udinese netting first and winning results in odds of 4/1, something I recommend new users take into consideration, in case they were wondering how to invest the free £25 bet they received for signing up for an account with bwin. With a potential return of £100, it cannot be ignored.
What about Milan’s chances? Though Udinese are favourites, underestimating the Rossoneri has cost many a team, not least Leonardo, whose tactical approach to last season’s humiliating 3-0 defeat can at best be summed up by the line “Lions led by donkeys”.
Allegri could always emulate his colleague Conte, and hope that if he shuts up shop, he can make up for the defence’s gaps in concentration and bank on his side’s counter-attacking threat. A one-goal victory margin in the visitors’ favour is quoted at 7/2, and is well worth a punt.
Then again, Milan look a little lightweight up front as Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s idiotic behaviour will keep him in the stands, just as his needs him the most. After all, who can forget the brilliant goal he netted against Udinese last season, when a deft touch and a magnificent backheel saw him slip past Mauricio Isla and poke the ball past a despairing Samir Handanovic?
Udinese certainly haven’t. And for once, they won’t mind.
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