Dave Farrar returns with his regular look at the Serie A weekend, predicting goals at San Siro in the Derby della Madonnina, Parma to surprise Lazio and Sassuolo to suffer a third straight defeat...
“Four of Milan’s last five games have gone Over 3.5 Goals, Gonzalo Higuain has started to find his best form, and when you consider how shaky Milan look at the back, and the fact that Mauro Icardi has ALSO started to fire, you can see why there might be goals at San Siro on Sunday night.”
Milan Derby is rarely dull
Inter v Milan
Live on Eleven Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
When you've been writing a Serie A tipping column for some time, you learn to never trust certain teams, and to always keep others on side. Season by season the names may change, but one has remained a constant for as long as I've been writing on this website, and that name is Inter Milan.
I've already made the mistake of relying on Inter on a couple of occasions this season, and have tipped them to finish second in the League to Juventus. While I think that they're a useful price to beat Milan in the derby this weekend, I'll have to swerve them at [2.46] for the win. I know that they've won six in a row in all competitions, I know that they're playing well, but they're not to be trusted. Not to win, anyway.
Add to the mix the fact that Milan are playing pretty well themselves, and you have a Derby Della Madonnina to savour. This fixture finished 3-2 in Inter's favour last season, and there are plenty of reasons to expect something similar here.
Four of Milan's last five games have gone Over 3.5 Goals, Gonzalo Higuain has started to find his best form, and when you consider how shaky Milan look at the back, and the fact that Mauro Icardi has ALSO started to fire, you can see why there might be goals at San Siro on Sunday night.
I like the fact that both teams are vulnerable, I like that they both play at a tempo, and I like that Milan have only once scored more goals after seven games of a Serie A season. The Rossoneri are playing wide open football at the moment and Inter are likely to join in. If you ignore last season's 0-0 draw in the Milan home fixture, this is a game which has given us bundles of goals in recent Serie A seasons, and I think that Sunday will oblige again.
Parma can pounce
Parma v Lazio
Live on Eleven Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
Parma's form since returning to Serie A has been something to behold, and they and Sassuolo can both lay claim to the "Serie A surprise" tag so far in this campaign.
Parma have now won four of their last five, and if they didn't have injury issues ahead of their game against Lazio this weekend, I'd be wholeheartedly recommending them to pull off a surprise at a fancy price.
Even without Gervinho and Alberto Grassi, though, they rate an interest against a Lazio team who have just lost their way. Simone Inzaghi's team played poorly against Fiorentina last time, but at least got over the line, but there's not much to be feared from a side which is so heavily reliant on Ciro Immobile.
Lazio have looked a little pedestrian to me this season, and this is a tough trip for them. They are unbeaten in their last six Serie A games at Parma, but that kind of statistic is of little relevance here, given Parma's absence from the top flight, and I prefer to focus on this season.
We can back them with a goal start on the Asian Handicap at [2.4], and even given their absentees, that makes good sense. Lazio will have one eye on a big Europa League game at Marseille on Thursday and are simply not playing well. I think that Parma can take advantage.
Samp on the up
Sampdoria v Sassuolo
Live on Eleven Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video
For a while this season, this column hung its hat on Sassuolo and reaped the rewards. Then Roberto De Zerbi's team was ripped apart by Milan and the magic faded a little. And having traded at too large a price for much of the campaign, I think that they're a little short at [3.45] as they head to Sampdoria on Monday night.
Samp did the trick for us last time at Atalanta, and after two wins in a row, I'm surprised to see them at odds against for this. One of the reasons might be that Sassuolo have won their last three Serie A games against Samp, but they have a couple of injury issues ahead of this one, and with Filip Djuricic likely to start up front, I don't think that there's a great deal for Samp to worry about.
Gregoire Defrel will lead the line for the home team, and he'll be desperate to prove his worth after leaving Sassuolo for Roma and failing so dramatically. He's in good form this season, though, with five goals already, and there's every chance that he can torment his old team.
This is a chance to back an in form team against one that might just be drifting, and we should take those kinds of opportunities.
Staked: 24 points
Returned: 27.60 points
P/L: +3.60 points
Back Over 3.5 Goals in Inter v Milan @ [3.4]
Back Parma +1 on Asian Handicap against Lazio @ [2.4]
Back Sampdoria to beat Sassuolo @ [2.2]