Dave Farrar assesses the Betfair odds and predicts Cagliari will cause Juventus problems, Sassuolo will get back among the goals and an entertaining Napoli-Milan...
“Juve head to Sardinia this weekend for yet another tricky test. These are the kind of fixtures that they would have won with brutal ease in their best days, but now there are question marks”
Sardinians in good shape
Juventus v Cagliari
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
The season so far has been a struggle for Juventus, but a narrative is continuing to emerge in this Serie A campaign, namely that Juve are slipping, but no one else is stepping up to look like a convincing alternative. The Serie A winner market on Betfair tells a pretty accurate story. Juventus are 3.185/40 and are favourites, but there are four realistic and relatively short-priced alternatives, none of whom I could write off.
Juve head to Sardinia this weekend for yet another tricky test. These are the kind of fixtures that they would have won with brutal ease in their best days, but now there are question marks.
Some of those are nothing to do with form, with both Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini's absences meaning that Matthijs De Ligt may well be rushed back into the starting line-up.
There'll be others missing further forward, and with Joao Pedro and co more than likely to trouble Juve, I thought that "Yes" in the Both Teams to Score market may prove to be an option, but 1.84/5 seemed a little on the skinny side, so the Asian Handicap makes far more interesting reading.
In Serie A, Juventus have beaten only Sampdoria and Spezia by more than a single goal this season, and yet an in form Cagliari are given a 1.5 goal start on the Asian Handicap. I can't ignore that, given the firepower and relative freshness of Eusebio Di Francesco's team, and it makes an attractive proposition at around the 1.981/1 mark.
Goals at the Bentegodi
Verona v Sassuolo
Live on Betfair Live Video
Sassuolo have been the toast of the Azzurri, after Manuel Locatelli and Mimmo Berardi combined so superbly against Poland and particularly Bosnia, and now both refocus on domestic matters, with things looking rather rosy for Roberto De Zerbi and his team.
Sassuolo sit second in Serie A after a hugely improved start to the season and they face a Verona team which can boast the best defence in Serie A. Ivan Juric's side have conceded only five times in the League this season, but those statistics may not tell the full story. They've actually given up more shots at goal than anyone in Serie A, and I think that they're potentially vulnerable to a potent Neroverdi.
Sassuolo are the joint top scorers in Serie A, and they have kept two clean sheets in a row, but I think that this will be a return to the Sassuolo we saw at the start of the season, and with Verona's last three games all going over 3.5 goals, that will be the recommendation here.
Prolific title battle
Napoli v Milan
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video
Not too many people would have seen Napoli and Milan going into this fixture in the top three in Serie A, but it has been that kind of season, and it increasingly looks as if the team that holds their nerve in these big games will be the likeliest Scudetto winner.
With no fans at the San Paolo, it's hard to make a judgement in the Match Odds market. Napoli have been really impressive in this campaign, and there's just a chance that Milan might be flagging after their excellent start, but I couldn't honestly back that outcome with any certainty.
Napoli are unbeaten in their last 11 against Milan, but will have to do without Victor Osimhen here, and such has been the Nigerian's impact on the club that it's going to be interesting to see how they cope. They have a perfectly good centre forward in the wings in the shape of Arek Milik, but he won't be involved, and Andrea Petagna may have to shoulder the burden. Lorenzo Insigne looks in really good form, and he could be the major threat to Milan.
I think that there'll be goals in this one too, and am surprised to see Over 2.5 Goals as big as 1.784/5, but I'm going to play the "Goal Lines" market here, and back Over 3 at 2.26/5. We'll win if there are four goals or more, but have the insurance of our money back if there are only three. That seems like a touch of value to me, in the weekend's big game.
Dave’s Serie A P/L – 2020/21
Staked: 20 points
Returned: 16.83 points
P/L: -3.17 points
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