Serie A Betting: Dall'Ara delight and one final Fiorentina push

Napoli forward Dries Mertens celebrates
Dries Mertens has scored in his last four Serie A games and already put 10 past Bologna in his Napoli career

As the Serie A season draws to a close, Dave Farrar predicts the lack of pressure will result in entertainment in Bologna-Napoli and Cagliari-Udinese, while the Viola could send Genoa towards relegation...

“Bologna have scored at least three times in their last four games at the Dall’Ara, and while that’s going to be harder in this fixture, there were signs at San Paolo last week that the shackles were off Napoli, and that they’ll happily engage in an open game”

The final day

So here we are again, the final day of what has been another largely predictable Serie A season in terms of the winner, but less predictable lower down, as Bologna and Empoli have launched remarkable escape bids, and Fiorentina and Genoa have both sunk like a stone.

Atalanta have given us the romance, and they stand on the brink of their highest ever Serie A finish, and all that we can hope is that a change of coach at Juventus, as well as a strengthening of those lower down, will give us what we truly crave as Serie A fans: a race for the title. I have a good feeling about next season, but make no mistake, it is not Juve's fault that this League is one sided, it's the incompetence below them. Let's hope that changes.

Bravo to Fabio Quagliarella, Duvan Zapata and Krzysztof Piatek for lighting up the League in terms of goalscoring, to Marten De Roon for being the funniest footballer out there, and to Josip Ilicic, Allan and Quagliarella, who'd be my three players of the season, in no particular order.

As for the column, we're guaranteed a profit over the season, despite a horror show last week, and let's hope that we can finish with a bang, although this final day of Serie A is notoriously difficult, and I'm going to try and avoid games with too much riding on them, as events can be affected by what's going on elsewhere. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your summers. Buona Fortuna.

End of season showboating

Carlo Ancelotti points 1280.jpg

Bologna v Napoli
Saturday, 19:30
Live on Premier 2 and Betfair Live Video

We'll start with Bologna and Napoli, who can do little to change the shape of their seasons, but who I'll trust to put on a real show for us on this final day.

Sinisa Mihajlovic's mantra since he took over at Bologna has been to attack, and I think that his team might look to go out with a bang and have a real go at Napoli. That would suit Carlo Ancelotti's side, and so I think that there will be goals.

Bologna have scored at least three times in their last four games at the Dall'Ara, and while that's going to be harder in this fixture, there were signs at San Paolo last week that the shackles were off Napoli, and that they'll happily engage in an open game. They were brilliant at times against Inter, and made you wistfully think of what a title race it could have been.

Napoli have scored at least twice in their last four, and the fact that the reverse fixture finished 3-2 in their favour is another pointer. It's tempting to get silly on the final day as we push for a profit, and look at Over 5.5 Goals, but sensible has been our mantra all season, and so I'll punt the Over 3.5 Goals at 2.35/4.

Udinese can relax

Cagliari v Udinese
Sunday, 19:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

Cagliari's home form in the second half of the season is what has kept them in Serie A, and they've made a habit of beating teams at Udinese's level, winning six of their last eight in Sardinia, and finding only Juventus and Lazio too good for them.

They look overpriced to beat an Udinese side who are safe (the table might not look that way, but head to heads mean that they are, trust me), and who can count themselves fortunate to remain in Serie A for another season.

Until they won at Frosinone two weeks ago, Udinese had lost eight of their nine away games in 2019, and it's four goals in two games from reborn Stefano Okaka which have effectively kept them up, with wins against Frosinone and SPAL.

Now that they've achieved what they needed to, I think that they'll struggle at Cagliari, who will play with freedom here and look a little overpriced to come out on top at around the 2.526/4 mark.

Final Fiorentina flourish

Fiorentina v Genoa
Sunday, 19:30
Live on Betfair Live Video

The only game that matters that I'm happy to engage in is the one in Florence. Both of these teams can still be relegated, but Genoa are the ones who probably need to win, and I think that they're the team most likely to go down.

La Viola's season has been a story of mismanagement and of justifiable fan protest, but a point in this at least keeps them safe for another season, and I think that they'll find the performance that they need to finish the season with a win.

The danger here is that, if Empoli are losing at Inter, and word comes through that this is the case, then a draw suits both of these teams and the game might peter out. I don't think that things will be that simple for Inter though, and it will become apparent that Genoa have to win this, a result that could potentially send Fiorentina down. It's a hard situation to manage, which is why I think that Vincenzo Montella will simply go for the win.

La Viola have only one Serie A victory since the end of January, and have lost six of their last seven Serie A games, but they are capable of performing, whereas Genoa have been awful in recent weeks, picking up only three points since they drew against Napoli on April 7.

It might seem unwise to back a team that has faded so badly, but something tells me that Fiorentina's stars will pull out the stops in this final game, and they'll consign Genoa to Serie B. They're big at 2.56/4, and worth backing.

2018-19 P/L

Staked: 111 points
Returned: 119.85 points
P/L: + 8.85 points

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