Serie A Overview Week 26
Week 25 saw plenty of European hangovers affect or afflict the top sides as all but one of the teams involved lost their following Serie A match. Napoli secured a draw, but Juventus, Inter and Lazio all lost with only Inter even scoring a goal at all, in their 4-1 hammering at the hands of Fiorentina! Some of the bottom sides took advantage of this to give themselves a boost with Siena's 3-0 victory over Lazio the obvious stand out result of Week 25 in Serie A.
So, will the same happen this weekend after another round of Champions League and Europa League football has been played midweek, and who will be the big movers and sorry losers in Week 26 in Serie A as the race for the Scudetto hots up with a lucky 13 games left to decide its destination?
Saturday 23rd February 2013
Palermo vs. Genoa
Bottom hosts fourth bottom in this crucial six pointer that opens Week 26 in Serie A. Genoa are unbeaten in four with two home wins and very creditable points at both Juve and Parma and are 5/2 to win this one too and 9/4 to earn the draw and extend their unbeaten run. They had lost the previous two games but now have a four point gap above the relegation places and The Grifone seem renewed and are still unbeaten under new coach Davide Ballardini. Palermo sit six points behind their opponents with Siena and Pescara sandwiched between them in the other drop spots. They are 23/20 to snatch the three points here but Palermo last won 13 games ago on Nov 24th though have drawn four of their last five to at least be scoring some points to stay in touch, just, with those above them. The corresponding fixture back in Sept 2012 ended 1-1 and can be had for 6/1 betting odds with William Hill.
Away win for me at 5/2, and a correct score prediction of 2-0 at 16/1 with bet365
Sunday 24th February 2013
Sampdoria vs. Chievo
Two sides with remarkably similar records meet in the early game Sunday as 12th hosts 13th place with both teams sitting on 29 points going into the match. Sampdoria are unbeaten in four rounds with just one goal conceded. They have not lost at home in three, scoring nine goals and conceding just one in that time, the highlight beating Roma 3-1. They have lost just once in seven since winning 2-1 at Juventus to begin this run. Chievo are in their usual and unique brand of 'form', getting thumped 4-0 by lowly Bologna one week then beating Roma 1-0 say, or Lazio in Rome by the same score the next! They have struggled of late though with just one win in six, losing three. So both sides looking over their shoulders just eight points above the relegation places and needing all three in this one. Chievo won 2-1 in Verona back in October in the reverse fixture and are 12/1 with William Hill to do so again. They have scored in their last five games.
Home win for me at EVENS and a correct score prediction of 2-1 at 8/1 with William Hill for your free soccer picks.
Atalanta vs. Roma
Roma will be looking to make it three wins out of three against Atalanta this Sunday, having already beaten them twice this season, 2-0 in the league and 3-0 in the Copa del Rey, with both games being played in Rome. Atalanta are 15/8 to win this one with the Roma side 11/8 to take all three points. The draw is at 12/5 with bet365 as the bookies find it hard to separate these two. Roma beat leaders Juve 1-0 last time out thanks to a Totti wonder strike but that is their first win in seven league games since beating Milan 4-2 before Christmas. Atalanta have won just once in ten games, losing six including the cup tie with Roma that started such a poor run! The goals tend to fly in at either end when Roma are in town and the hosts have one clean sheet in 18 games, so the over 3.5 at 2/1 or even the over 4.5 at 9/2 are sound bets in this one.
Away win for me at 13/10 and a 3-2 correct score prediction at 25/1 and so the over 4.5 also, all with bet365
Bologna vs. Fiorentina
There are concerns over whether Bologna’s game with Fiorentina will go ahead after it started to snow on Thursday. Forecasts have predicted a spell of bad weather this week and reports are suggesting that the Stadio Dall’Ara tie is already at risk. The Rossoblu will entertain the Viola on Sunday at 15.00 hours local time if the game can go ahead but if it does, the hosts are 11/5 to win which will also give you the draw curiously, whilst the visitors are 13/10 to secure back to back wins. When Fiorentina have played ‘Three Tenors’ Alberto Aquilani, David Pizarro and Borja Valero together, they’ve notched up eight wins, one draw and one defeat, noted football-italia.net this week, and the 4-1 thumping of Inter Milan last weekend should tell them to stick with this formula.
Away win for me at 6/5 and a correct score prediction of 3-1 at 18/1 with William Hill
Cagliari vs. Torino
Having lost five in a row, Cagliari have bounced back to win three and draw three their last six, beating Roma and Pescara away and holding form side AC Milan 1-1 at home their last three outings. Torino in 11th are three points and three places above their hosts coming into this game and know a win will greatly ease their relegation fears. They are 12/5 to do so with bet365. Meanwhile, the home side can point to crucially taking points off all the six sides below them in recent games as evidence of their return to form and a belief they can and will stay up. The hosts are 6/5 to win with the draw at 11/5. Torino have also won three of their last six, drawing two with only Udinese finding a way to beat them. Cagliari have scored in each of their last nine games and are looking to do the double over Torino, having won 1-0 in Turin back in October and are 6/1 with William Hill to repeat that score.
Home win for me at 5/4 and a correct score prediction of 2-0 at 10/1 with William Hill
Juventus vs. Siena
League leaders versus third from bottom with a huge 34 points separating the two sides is the bottom line here right? A foregone conclusion it seems, the bookies think so with the Turin giant 1/5 to maintain it's four point advantage in Serie A. And yet it was Siena who won last weekend, beating Champions League spot hopefuls Lazio 3-0 convincingly, and Juve who lost 1-0 to Roma in one of those European hangover results I mentioned previously. Fact is, relegation threatened clubs who hit a little form like three wins and a draw their last six and undefeated in three like Siena, are dangerous. Siena have picked up 10 points in the last five games and add the scalps of both Inter and Lazio in that run and you add a little swagger of belief to the mix too, so am choosing this game to bet against the bookies and form and pick Siena to earn a point at least, maybe all three with 12/1 up for grabs for that result. No European distractions for Juve this week but even so, Siene to stir the pot ahead of next weekend when the top four all play each other!
Score draw for me at 11/2 and a correct score prediction of 1-1 at 12/1 with William Hill
Parma vs. Catania
Parma have not won in six games and lost three of their last four since their unbeaten home record went with the 2-1 defeat by Napoli. Catania meanwhile are flying up the league table, having lost just three of their last 12 League games and winning four of their last six, drawing one other. Gli Elefanti are closing in on Inter in fifth, and are just four points off the position which rewards the occupant with a Europa League spot. Parma are not safe if this form continues and must turn good performances and draws into wins, having managed eight of both with nine losses this term so far. Catania won the reverse fixture 2-0 and will be hoping to emulate that scoreline, available at 18/1 with bet365. The confidence and momentum are most definitely with Catania and the hosts need to find that spirit that saw them unbeaten at home all of the 2012 half of the season, and more.
Score draw for me at 9/4 with bet365 and William Hill with 1-1 my correct score prediction at 6/1 with William Hill
Inter Milan vs. AC Milan
This is a home game for both sides as they share the San Siro, though the records will show that Inter where the home side this time, and when they met back in October it was the 'visitors' on that day, Inter, who won 1-0 and compounded what was already a poor start to the season for AC Milan. The 'visitors' Saturday however, have turned things around to such a degree since new year though that they sit 3rd in Serie A, two places above their city and fiercest rivals and some would say the resurgence is complete with the deserved 2-0 Champions League victory over Barcelona last night. Mario Balotelli scored four goals in his first three games since joining AC, the first player to achieve this for Milan since Oliver Bierhoff in September 1998. The Rossoneri notched up a seventh consecutive home victory when beating Barca and have benefited from three own goals in that run. So Super Mario to score and Milan to win at 3/1 with William Hill is my pick here.
Inter were without an away victory in all competitions since conquering Partizan Belgrade 3-1 on November 8, managing one draw and eight defeats but have just beaten Cluj 3-0 in Romania as I write to clinch a last 16 tie with Tottenham on 7th and 14th March in the Europa League. In Serie A though, they have earned one point from their last seven away matches, their worst run since 1999. Form it has to be said, tends to play little part in these type of game and there is of course, no home field advantage! The momentum has to be with AC after 'that' win in the Champions League and they will make it eight wins in a row at the San Siro even if they are only guests for the day!
Away win for me at 13/10 and Mario Balotelli to score in a Milan victory at 3/1 with 2-1 my correct score prediction at 8/1 with bet365
Monday 25th February 2013
Udinese vs. Napoli
For my full preview of this game and free odds, picks and predictions on this match click here!
Lazio vs. Pescara
Lazio are through in the Europa League to the round of 16 where they will face VfB Stuttgart, winning 2-0 on the night tonight and 5-3 on aggregate against Borussia M'gladbach, having just walked off victorious at Stadio Olimpico as I write this. They will hope to react better from playing in Europe than they did last time, when losing 3-0 to Siena in the game following the first leg of tonight's tie! The Biancocelesti have still not won any of their seven Serie A matches played without either Miroslav Klose or Hernanes this season, drawing three. Pescara will hope for just the opposite and see if they can emulate their relegation rivals and beat Lazio after a European tie. 21 points from 25 matches would suggest otherwise though and Lazio have until Monday to recover from a pretty easy win and with no travel involved either, I see them having no problem with this game that rounds off Week 26 in Serie A.
Home win for me at 2/9 and a correct score prediction of 2-0 at 5/1 with William Hill