Dave Farrar predicts Lazio will trip Inter up and goals all round in Roma-Milan and Verona-Chievo.
“Milan have managed to score in all but one of their away games, and I think that's the most sensible statistic on which to rely at the Olimpico this weekend. Roma were rock solid at the back at the start of the campaign, but with them conceding twice in their last three home games, it's not a quantum leap to expect Milan to find a way through.”
If Roberto Mancini is really going to make a difference at Europe's most ridiculous football club, then we've yet to really see it. In their current state, I'm starting to believe that Inter could sign Lionel Messi, Kun Aguero and Cristiano Ronaldo and still find a way to underachieve. Their last home game against Udinese was a case in point. They led, then threw the game away, and with Lazio sure to be competitive, then opposing Inter would seem to be the sensible thing here. Mancio finally got his first victory and clean sheet away to Chievo, but that was mainly thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic.
Lazio's away record isn't a stellar one, but then they may not need a world beating performance to succeed here. The kind of workmanlike, counter attacking display that saw them triumph at Fiorentina would be good enough, and Stefano Pioli will know exactly how to unsettle Inter. If Lazio can turn the home fans (not hard at the moment) and stop Mauro Icardi (slightly more difficult) then they'll be half way to the win. Even with an injury crisis ruling out Michael Ciani, Antonio Candreva and Lucas Biglia, Lazio still look a big price at 3.65, and I'll happily support them. Last season the Aquile lost this fixture 4-1, meaning they've suffered eight defeats in nine visits.
Recommended Bet: Lazio to beat Inter @ 3.65
Milan may have had a stuttering season so far, but they have managed to score in all but one of their away games, and I think that's the most sensible statistic on which to rely at the Olimpico this weekend. Roma were rock solid at the back at the start of the campaign, but that's a crown which has slipped lately, and with them conceding twice in their last three home games, it's not a quantum leap to expect Milan to find a way through.
I don't think that the Rossoneri will win the game, and that brings the 2-1 and 3-1 Correct Scores into play, but "Both Teams to Score" is reasonably priced at 1.784/5, and while it may seem like a safety first bet, it's better than closing our eyes and chucking some darts, especially until we've worked out how much of a toll Roma's Champions League exit has really had on them. Rudi Garcia's men only scraped a 1-0 at 10-man Genoa after missing a penalty. The Giallorossi are also weakened by bans for Davide Astori and Miralem Pjanic, but Jose Holebas is available after his suspension was revoked on appeal. The same goes for Garcia's touchline ban.
Recommended Bet: Back Both Teams to Score in Roma v Milan @ 1.784/5
The Derby di Verona might not look like a glamour tie on paper, but these sides could well surprise this time round. Hellas finally ended their nine-round winless streak with a surprise 2-1 victory away to Udinese and Luca Toni marked the occasion with his 300th career goal in all competition. Despite that negative streak in terms of results, Verona have still scored in each of their last 11 competitive games.
Chievo lost their five-match unbeaten run to Inter last week, but remain in good form and could easily have found the net in that 2-0 defeat. Ruben Botta begins a three-game ban, but is the only notable absentee as Ervin Zukanovic and Nicolas Frey return from suspension. Verona miss Frederik Sorensen, Artur Ionita and the suspended Alessandro Agostini, while Jacopo Sala, Juanito Gomez Taleb and Bosko Jankovic are also in doubt. Rafael returns between the posts following an injury.
Considering Chievo's reputation for being stingy with goals is affecting the odds and these rivals are finally close in the Serie A table, Over 2.5 Goals is looking a decent bet at 2.186/5. I'm frankly surprised that a draw is given at 3.39/4, so that may well be worth a punt too.
Recommended Bet: Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 2.186/5
Dave Farrar is a Commentator at BT Sport and author of the bestselling gambling book "The Perfect Punter". You can follow him on Twitter @perfectpunter. From 19 points staked on Serie A this season, Dave is currently showing a profit of 5.73 points.