Serie A Tips: Old Lady dancing to Pirlo's tune, Milan keep entertaining

Andrea Pirlo Juventus coach
It was a thumbs up from Andrea Pirlo after his debut Juventus match

Dave Farrar predicts Juventus will get the better of Roma, goals in Crotone and Benevento back to Serie A with a bump...

“There are definite question marks about Juventus, notably defensively, but they have clicked into gear early, and should have far too much for disjointed Roma.”

Yes Pirlo, Yes Party

Roma v Juventus
Sunday, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video

Anyone who read my season preview a couple of weeks ago will know that I expect Juventus to struggle a little this season, and certainly feel that this will be the year that they relinquish their title.

I must confess that I was surprised by their performance against Sampdoria last week, starting quickly, settling nicely, and playing at real pace. Things that we haven't seen from Juve for a while, all of which added to the intrigue of what should be a terrific title race.

In contrast, Roma were poor against Verona, and even though you could point to the absence of Edin Dzeko, there was a curious sluggishness about them, as well as a lack of purpose. Paulo Fonseca already looks like he might be under a fair bit of pressure.

Dzeko's move to Juventus finally fell through, the Champions have gone for Alvaro Morata instead, and that puts a dent in June's title chances. It's a boost to Roma for sure, and if Dzeko starts at the Olimpico on Sunday night and is anywhere near his best, then Roma will improve.

I don't think that they'll improve enough to trouble Andrea Pirlo's team, though. There are definite question marks about Juventus, notably defensively, but they have clicked into gear early, and should have far too much for disjointed Roma.

Crotone leaking goals

Crotone v Milan
Sunday, 17:00
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video

Milan look awful short at 4/71.57 to beat Crotone, given that the Rossoneri were in stressful European action in the week, and that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will miss out here after his positive Covid-19 test.

Crotone were hammered on the opening day in Genoa, though, and so I don't trust them enough to advise supporting them here, but I do think that there will be goals once again. Milan have scored in their last 21 Serie A games, and while they're on a run of two clean sheets in a row, I always feel like they give the opposition chances.

Crotone might have defended badly in Genoa last week, but they showed some class in front of goal, and with Giovanni Stroppa unlikely to change his style against his old team, I think that we can expect Milan to be put under pressure, to concede, but maybe ultimately come away with the win.

Crotone +1 on the Asian Handicap at even money is tempting as well, but I think that goals are the better route to profit, even with no Ibra to brighten up the place.

Harsh welcome back for Benevento

Sampdoria v Benevento
Saturday, 17:00
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video

Claudio Ranieri launched into his Sampdoria players after their defeat in Turin on Sunday night, and that might just play into our hands, as Samp follow up with a home game against newly-promoted Benevento.

I didn't think that Samp were as bad as Ranieri clearly did, and they were certainly unfortunate to lose to Juventus by three clear goals, but whatever your opinion of last weekend, they are a significantly superior side to Pippo Inzaghi's team, and we should back them to bounce back with a victory at a tempting 11/102.12.

Benevento carried all before them in Serie B last season, and are determined to perform better than they did in their only previous top flight experience, when they were great to watch but horrendous to support, and were relegated in the blink of an eye.

I think they have a fighting chance of staying up, but worry for them here. They've signed players like Gianluca Lapadula and the old Samp man Gianluca Caprari, they have one or two lesser knowns who will doubtless settle and sparkle, but when you look at the two squads, it's Samp who have the better and stronger players, and Ranieri's team also looks like a settled unit.

With their ears ringing, they'll also be keen to atone for last week, and look a solid bet at odds against.

Dave’s Serie A P/L – 2020/21

Staked: 3 pts
Returned: 2.02 pts
P/L: -0.98 pts

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