Dave Farrar previews three games from this weekend's Serie A action, including the live game between Lazio and Juventus where our man strongly fancies the away team to make quick amends for their midweek cup defeat to Roma...
"Juve have won their last 12 League games, and have scored four goals in four of their last five."
Napoli v Chievo
This Serie A weekend gets off to what should be an entertaining start as Napoli play Chievo at the San Paolo. Ostensibly, it's a game that Napoli ought to win, and it's no surprise to see them trading at 1.3130/100 to do so.
Despite failing at Bologna last week, Rafa Benitez' team have won three of their last four, and remain just four points behind second placed Roma. With Fiorentina keeping up the pressure, Napoli know that they have to keep winning, and I'm fairly certain that they'll do just that in the early Saturday kick off.
I won't be backing them at a short price, though, as the memory of Chievo's efforts in their home game against Napoli is still pretty fresh. They lost 4-2, but they gave Napoli a fright, and I think that they'll take some confidence from those efforts into this game.
Chievo might be struggling without a win since December, but they have scored in each of their last four Serie A away games, including their trip to Inter. They won't be in awe of Napoli, and with Benitez' team conceding in five of their last six matches at the San Paolo, Both teams to Score seems overpriced at 2.245/4.
I think that Napoli will run out relatively comfortable winners, but I like the idea of the away team nicking at least one goal.
Back Both Teams to Score @ 2.245/4
Lazio v Juventus
Live on BT Sports 2
Lazio produced a remarkable performance last week in Udine. Their 10 men trailed late on in the game, and somehow they found a way to win. It's a sign of the fighting spirit that we regularly see from Edy Reja's teams, and they'll be confident ahead of the visit of the runaway league leaders, who'll be smarting after their defeat by Roma in the Cup.
Juve rarely make the same mistake twice, though, and they're priced at 1.715/7 to win at the Olimpico, which I think could look a big price come 10pm on Saturday night. Juve's Cup defeat could herald the start of a slump, but I doubt it.
They were unfortunate against Roma, and this is one of those occasions when the most obvious conclusion is the correct one. Juve are the best team in the league by some distance, and we should back them to prevail when they're up against significantly inferior opposition.
For all Lazio's qualities, that's the case here. Juve have won their last 12 League games, and have scored four goals in four of their last five. There'll be the odd hiccup on their march to the title, but I don't see that coming here. There's lots to admire about Lazio, but that won't save them on Saturday night.
I know that it seems like a short price, but backing Juve to win is the most obvious route to profit.
Back Juventus to Win @ 1.715/7
Sampdoria v Bologna
I was really impressed by the way that Sampdoria approached their seemingly impossible task against Juventus last week. They ended up losing the game, but showed a willingness and a never say die attitude that will serve them well for the rest of the season.
That starts at the Marassi against a Bologna team that did well to earn a 2-2 draw with Napoli last weekend. I can't help but feel, though, that Napoli threw those points away, and that Samp deserve to be favourites at 1.845/6 against a side that has scored only six goals in 10 matches. That's a desperate record, and one that Bologna need to improve on to avoid a relegation scrap.
Samp have won two of their last three at home, though, and Sinisa Mihaijlovic has them going forcefully in the right direction. I'm tempted by the 1-0 Correct Score at around 6.25/1 but I'll keep things simple this weekend, and back Samp to win at a more than fair price.
Back Sampdoria to Win @ 1.845/6
You can follow Dave on Twitter @perfectpunter.
Wagered: 54 pts
Returned: 68.48 pts
P/L: + 14.48 pts