Serie A: Gattuso's Milan may surprise Roma

Goran Pandev and Andrea Bertolacci can see a fourth consecutive Genoa victory
Goran Pandev and Andrea Bertolacci can see a fourth consecutive Genoa victory
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Dave Farrar predicts a fourth consecutive victory for the Grifone, Milan to stall a tired Roma and a Samp upset.

"Milan haven't beaten Roma since May 2015, and while I think they have a chance here, I'm not going to get TOO bullish about their chances. The combination of a rested Rossoneri and an edgy, tired Roma, means that Milan must be supported on the Asian Handicap. "

Bologna v Genoa
Saturday, 17:00
Live on Betfair Live Video

Genoa are flying after their 2-0 win against Inter Milan last weekend, and now they head to Bologna to play a team which won us some money last time, but did so unconvincingly.

Bologna scraped past Sassuolo with a late winner, and they'll be up against it with a Genoa side reborn under Davide Ballardini. To recycle a statistic that I mentioned last week, it's worth remembering that only Juventus and Napoli have picked up more Serie A points than Genoa since Ballardini returned to the club, and they've been more potent away from home than at Marassi.

In their last two away games, Genoa have beaten Lazio and then Chievo, and have done so by suffocating the game and coming on strong at the end. There has been nothing lucky about Genoa's resurgence, and Ballardini deserves immense credit.

Bologna have started to drift, as they often do at this point of the season. Tipping them last week was largely due to them being a little underrated, but I'm not sure that they are. They look listless, and their coach Roberto Donadoni never strikes me as a great motivator. Happy to have a job, rather than eager to impress and move onto the next challenge.

Rodrigo Palacio is out for over a month with a thigh strain, while Simone Verdi is still sidelined, so Mattia Destro and Riccardo Orsolini are expected to fill in.

Genoa work best against teams that are easily discouraged: it's why they struggled to break down Chievo and yet breezed past Inter, and Bologna are a lot closer to the latter than the former. I think that Genoa will suffocate and infuriate, and once again find a way to win away from home. And remember they DID beat Bologna here last season, so have form in that respect.

Recommended Bet
Genoa to beat Bologna @ 2.8815/8

Roma v Milan
Sunday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 1 and Betfair Live Video

Having been a little cynical about the rebirth of Milan under Genaro Gattuso, I'm now starting to become a believer. His team seems to get better by the week, and he'll face the biggest challenge of his time in charge as he prepares for Roma this weekend, and then Inter next week.

Roma are the better of those two teams, and I can entirely understand why they're odds-on favourites to win this, but I think that there is some merit in supporting Milan to get at least a draw from the Olimpico.

The Giallorossi have had a big week in the Champions League, and that means that Milan have an instant physical advantage (their Europa League tie was over after the first leg), and Roma's home form has been slipping of late. Yes, they destroyed Benevento last time, but they'd failed to win their last four home games before that one, and the opposition is a lot stiffer here than it was in those previous fixtures.

Cengiz Under has obviously been a revelation, and has now scored in his last four games, but surely the 20-year-old will feel the physical strain more than most, and it's hard to see this excellent young player digging Roma out of trouble every week.

Milan haven't beaten Roma since May 2015, and while I think they have a chance here, I'm not going to get TOO bullish about their chances. The combination of a rested Rossoneri and an edgy, tired Roma, means that Milan must be supported on the Asian Handicap.

Recommended Bet
Milan +0.5 on Asian Handicap @ 2.021/1

Sampdoria v Udinese
Sunday, 1400
Live on Betfair Live Video

Sampdoria will be delighted to be back at home to face an out-of-form Udinese side, who will come to Genoa desperate to get what was looking like an over-achieving season back on track.

I fancied Samp to come away from Milan with something, but was amazed at how lacklustre they were at San Siro. Most worryingly, they looked tired, and that, along with a lack of ambition, meant that they were fortunate to come away with a 1-0 defeat. It should have been a lot worse.

Udinese might have lost two in a row, but one of those was against Roma last week, which isn't exactly a shameful result, and the other was a sloppy performance at Torino. I really rate Massimo Oddo, though, and I think that he'll have seen the weaknesses in Samp and will have his Udinese side primed to exploit them.

Udinese thrashed Samp earlier in the season by a 4-0 scoreline, and that will help their confidence, and they've won five of their last eight away games, and are maybe developing into one of those teams that is suited to playing on the counter attack away from the Friuli. Oddo's men are worth supporting on the Asian Handicap against a potentially fading force.

Recommended Bet
Udinese +0.5 on Asian Handicap @ 1.9210/11

2017-18 P/L

Staked: 72 points
Returned: 89.38 points
P/L: + 17.38 points

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