Dave Farrar predicts a close game in Turin, Atalanta to upset Inter, and the now traditional Zdenek Zeman madness as he takes a look ahead to this weekend's Serie A action - all available to watch for free on Betfair Live Video...
“So with the league leaders likely to find a way through Milan's occasionally jittery backline, and with Juve vulnerable, ‘Yes’ to ‘Both teams to score’ shouldn't be trading at odds against.”
Juventus v Milan
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Juventus slipped up at Udinese last week, but as has been the theme in Serie A so far this season, Roma weren't able to take advantage. The title looks certain to be Juve's with the only hope for the chasing pack that the Champions slip up in games like this, against a resurgent Milan.
The Rossoneri have won four of their last five games, and have looked strong against some pretty stern opposition. That may point to a lay of Juve for this one at 1.4740/85, but I prefer to focus on the "Both teams to score" market, as I think that "yes" is available at a sporting price.
Milan beat Juventus earlier in the season both in Serie A and in the Italian Super Cup (on penalties), and with Juve keeping one eye on their Tuesday night Champions League game, Vincenzo Montella will feel that he can trouble Max Allegri once more.
The downside, of course, is Juve's absurdly good home record: they've won fourteen out of fourteen this season, have conceded only seven times, and will be keen to keep that run going.
Milan are a danger, though: they did score here in the Coppa Italia, and there are also signs that Juve are just starting to wane defensively. They've faced nine shots on target in their last two games, which was as many as they'd allowed in their previous five matches. I wonder if they're tiring. Not enough to cause serious concern, but enough to concede against Milan.
So with the League leaders likely to find a way through Milan's occasionally jittery backline, and with Juve vulnerable, "Yes" to "Both teams to score" shouldn't be trading at odds against.
Back "Yes" to Both Teams to Score in Juventus v Milan @ 2.111/10
Pescara v Udinese
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I'll keep this second tip brief, as the rationale behind it has been explained in the last couple of weeks. The bottom line is that the Zdenek Zeman style tends to lead to goals, and historically it has paid to take advantage of that trend before markets become entirely wise to it.
Zeman is back at Pescara, and so far his three games in charge have produced five, two and four goals. Over 3.5 Goals for the visit of Udinese is competitively priced at 2.915/8 and, while Udinese are a long way from the most open and attractive team to watch in the division, there's enough about their style to suggest that there could be more goals here.
Udinese have failed to score in their last five Serie A away games, but will more than likely put that right here against a really poor Pescara defence. Cyril Thereau has three goals in his three appearances against the Delfini and it would be no surprise to see him act as the main destroyer.
That said, Zeman has Pescara playing more cohesively in forward areas, and I think that they'll score at least once in this one. To sum up, goals, once again, simply has to be the bet.
Back Over 3.5 Goals in Pescara v Udinese @ 2.915/8
Inter v Atalanta
Live on Betfair Live Video
Inter are strong favourites to beat Atalanta at San Siro this weekend, trading at 1.875/6 for the win against a team that beat Napoli in their last away game, but let this column down as they failed to do the same against Fiorentina last weekend.
That ended a run of four consecutive Atalanta victories, but they beat Inter at home earlier in the campaign, and have already come to San Siro and picked up a 0-0 draw against Milan.
Gian Piero Gasperini will feel that he has a point to prove once more against a side who discarded him, and Atalanta will feel that they can more than match Inter. It's a clash of two in form teams, but the lesser known of them shouldn't be discarded.
I'm tempted to believe that Gasperini will engineer a victory and reward an investment on Atalanta at 4.84/1, but rather like in that Napoli game (and it cost us that day), I want to keep the draw on my side, and take advantage of the fact that Inter are simply too short.
Lay Inter against Atalanta @ 1.8810/11
Staked: 81 points
Returned: 91.58 points
P/L: +10.58 points