It's an uninspiring weekend from a betting perspective says Dave Farrar but our man believes Juventus have to slip up sooner rather than later and this might be the time to oppose them...
"Their attempt to retain Serie A and contend in the Champions League is going to catch up with Juve eventually, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it happened this weekend, with Alejandro Gomez the destroyer in chief."
After the thrills of Juventus against Napoli, Milan v Lazio and Genoa v Roma last week, we're left with pretty slim pickings this week. The game of the week by a long way is Fiorentina against Lazio, and I was hoping to see La Viola trading a bit bigger than [2.22] for the win against a tired Lazio team, but the market has been wise and therefore I can't tip up Montella's team.
That means that we'll have to look elsewhere for a bet, and we start at San Siro for the battle of the two most disappointing teams in Serie A. Max Allegri is, remarkably, still in a job at Milan, and has been assured this week that he will remain as Rossoneri coach for the rest of the season.
Gigi Di Canio wasn't so lucky, and has been replaced this week by the ex Sampdoria coach Gigi Delneri, which should at least make for a fun Genoa derby in November. Whether Saturday night's live ESPN game will be fun or not is a moot point. Over 2.5 Goals is favourite at [1.83] which I presume is based on the theory that both teams were involved in thrillers last week, with their matches producing a combined 11 goals.
Much of that was down to the way that the two Rome clubs play, though, and with Marco Borriello injured for this, and Ciro Immobile likely to plough the proverbial lone furrow, I can't see that Genoa will be particularly expansive, and, with the doubts circling around Milan's injuries and morale right now, there's every chance that they will put in another turgid display.
If Borriello had been fit, then I would have been fully prepared to put Genoa up at [7.8] (they've already won in Rome against Lazio), but I'm happier here to think that the market has overreacted to the nature of the Genoa and Milan games last weekend, and take odds against that there'll be Under 2.5 Goals at San Siro in what will be far from a Saturday night thriller.
Recommendation: Under 2.5 Goals in Milan v Genoa @ [2.22]
Juventus have now gone 47 games without defeat in Serie A, and last week's win over Napoli was their most important of the season so far. Once again, they showed that ability to dig out a win from an unpromising position, and they were at it again in the Champions League in midweek, grabbing a late equaliser against Nordsjaelland.
The brinksmanship will eventually catch up with Juve, though, and they face a tough looking trip to Catania this weekend, for which they shouldn't be trading as short as [1.78]. Catania's excellent start to the season is based entirely on their home form: they have won three and drawn one in Sicily so far, the draw a 0-0 against Napoli in which they played with ten men for most of the game.
There's a spring in the step of this group of tiny Argentine players when they play in front of a home crowd, and I can see their bright and infectious style potentially rattling Juve, rather like Genoa did earlier this season.
The tough thing for Catania to do if they have the lead will be to seal the deal, and repel an inevitable late Juve charge. But they did that so well against Napoli that I would have some faith. Their attempt to retain Serie A and contend in the Champions League is going to catch up with Juve eventually, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it happened this weekend, with Alejandro Gomez the destroyer in chief. You can back Catania for the win at [5.6], but I'm a layer of Juve for this one at [1.78].
Recommendation: Lay Juventus at Catania @ [1.78]
And, in an uninspiring weekend, that's it. Elsewhere, I can see how Cagliari might be a bit of value away at a Sampdoria side which has lost three in a row. Cagliari are [3.7] for the win, but their inconsistency puts me off.
You could also make a case for Napoli conceding a goal on the Asian Handicap at home against Chievo, but they struggled in the Europa League on Thursday and have had a long journey back. And I'm also tempted by Under 2.5 Goals in Roma against Udinese. Everyone has cottoned on to the way that Roma play now, and so overs are trading at [1.48], but Udinese will be a stern test for them, both tactically and defensively, and I could see this game being a little less open and exciting than many Roma games. Anyway, I'm not tempted enough to tip it, and will move on with hopes of better weekends to come.