Serie A Betting: Massive weekend of showdowns in Italy

Will Sami Khedira and Juventus gain revenge on Ciro Immobile’s Lazio?
Will Sami Khedira and Juventus gain revenge on Ciro Immobile’s Lazio?
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Dave Farrar predicts a potentially decisive round with Juventus seeking revenge at Lazio, leaders Napoli facing Roma and Milan continuing their fine form in the derby...

“I can see the argument for Lazio, but I tend to feel that Juventus are always the team to support in these big Serie A games, with or without injury problems."

Juve to pile the pressure on Napoli

Lazio v Juventus
Saturday, 17:00
Live on BT Sport 3 and Betfair Live Video

This is set to be one of the weekends that could decide the Serie A season, as Napoli host Roma and Juve travel to the Olimpico to take on Lazio.

Lazio certainly have it in their power to cause issues for Max Allegri and his team: they have beaten the Champions twice already this season, in the Super Cup and then in Turin in October, and I can see why they're being supported to win this weekend, and give Napoli the chance of a seven-point lead.

Lazio also have a centre-forward who is both in great form and loves playing against Juve. Ciro Immobile is heading for that Capocannoniere crown and has now scored six times in his last four games. If you also consider the fact that he has scored four already in his two games against Juventus this season, you can understand why he's potentially primed to succeed again.

Juventus can welcome back both Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuaín to fitness, although neither is likely to start here, and that shadow of next week's huge Champions League game against Tottenham looms large over this game.

Juventus, though, have made a habit of getting the job done this season. Their tenacity in clinging to Napoli's coat tails has been quite extraordinary, and last weekend's snowstorm which caused the Atalanta abandonment will have helped them. They'll be fresh, and Lazio could well be shattered after losing their Cup semi-final in midweek against Milan. This is a mightily quick turnaround.

I can see the argument for Lazio, but I tend to feel that Juventus are always the team to support in these big Serie A games, with or without injury problems. I think they'll win, and pile the pressure on Napoli ahead of the Sunshine Derby later on in the day.

Recommended Bet
Back Juventus to beat Lazio @ 2.265/4

Napoli too short in Match Odds

Napoli v Roma
Saturday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

I know that Napoli are an excellent side, but I was staggered to see them trading at 1.625/8 to beat Roma this Saturday night.

Napoli are on a 10-match winning streak in Serie A, but Roma are being dismissed here, and I'll have to support them on the Asian Handicap to cause problems for Maurizio Sarri's team.

I can forgive Roma's loss to Milan last weekend because of their trip to Shakhtar a few days before, and they haven't suddenly turned into a bad team. They're very well coached by Eusebio Di Francesco, and they know Napoli well enough to stop them.

Of course, Sarri's team are free scoring and great to watch, as they proved in their rout of Cagliari on Monday night, but they are heavily reliant on their front three of Lorenzo Insigne, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens, all of whom are starting to look a little tired. That's fine when you're playing a Cagliari team that allows you to play, much tougher when you're in an intense game against Roma.

Fiorentina, Inter, and most famously, Juventus, all stopped Napoli here, and Sarri's much vaunted defence will be tested by the in-form Cengiz Under, who has now scored five goals in his last five games, and by Roma's organisation at both ends of the field.

I don't have an issue with Napoli being favourites for this, but they're too short, and Roma are 2.68/5 with a 0.5 start on the Asian Handicap. That's good enough for me.

Recommended Bet
Back Roma +0.5 on the Asian Handicap v Napoli @ 2.68/5

Milan the bet of the weekend to beat rivals

Milan v Inter
Sunday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2 and Betfair Live Video

The bet of the weekend, though, comes on Sunday night at San Siro. Yes, there's a danger that Milan might be tired after their Cup semi-final in midweek, but they at least have a day's extra recovery, and they're a team on a roll.

Gennaro Gattuso has done a remarkable job in guiding the team to a 13-match unbeaten run, and they have now kept clean sheets in each of their last six games. They face an Inter team which has looked disjointed and clueless in recent weeks, and their two recent wins flatter them. They were fortunate at home against Bologna, and outplayed for some time by Benevento.

Mauro Icardi returns to the side for this and that of course improves Inter, but he can't win the game on his own, and I expect Inter to be dominated in the midfield and comprehensively outplayed by the better team.

Milan look really good value at 2.68/5, and that is unquestionably the bet of the weekend.

Recommended Bet:
Back Milan to beat Inter @ 2.68/5

2017-18 P/L

Staked: 75 points
Returned: 91.40 points
P/L: + 16.40 points

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