Dave Farrar predicts Napoli to sweep over-rated Inter aside, Sassuolo to shock Fiorentina, and Roma to continue leaking goals...
“Inter have won their last four to lead the table, but I think that Roberto Mancini's overrated team will find Napoli far too good.”
Roma v Atalanta
Most of the fun stuff in Serie A this weekend will be happening on Monday evening, and those two big games will take our focus this week. I'd love to tip something convincing in Milan v Sampdoria on Saturday night, but can't find an angle, so before we get down to Monday, a quick word on Roma against Atalanta on Sunday.
Roma were destroyed by Barcelona on Tuesday night, and will still be reeling from that humiliation, but that result did keep up a trend. Roma can't defend, and if they continue like this, they will not be the ones to profit from Juve's weaknesses this season, and the Scudetto will look like a distant dream come April and May.
Roma have conceded in all but two of their 18 games in all competitions this season (Lazio and Frosinone were the teams who couldn't find a way through) and Atalanta are good enough and lively enough to at least score at the Olimpico this weekend.
Atalanta have managed only three away goals this season, but to my mind they've been a little unfortunate. They create chances, yet can be a little profligate, but given the likelihood that they'll have time and space in forward areas this weekend, I'm happy to take them to score at the Olimpico, and even rattle Roma.
Recommended: Back Both Teams to Score in Roma v Atalanta @ 1.8910/11
Napoli v Inter
Live on BT Sport Europe
The top two come together on a magnificent Monday night, and, given their record this season so far, it's hard to oppose Napoli.
The only game that they have this season was their first, when they were mugged at Sassuolo, but now that Maurizio Sarri's particular style of play has been enthusiastically adopted, they have been almost unstoppable, winning 12 of their next 16 games.
Napoli are trading at 1.728/11 and given that they've now won seven in a row at home, I think that's more than reasonable. Inter have won their last four to lead the table, but only Roma could be regarded as strong opposition, and I think that Roberto Mancini's overrated team will find Napoli far too good.
With Juventus coming strong in behind the leaders, Napoli are the team most likely to hold off any charge, and with key fixtures to come in the weeks ahead, their pre-Christmas surge starts here.
Recommended Bet: Back Napoli to beat Inter @ 1.728/11
Sassuolo v Fiorentina
Live on BT Sport Europe
Sassuolo may have lost last week in Genoa, but they still sit in an unlikely fifth in Serie A, and will provide stern opposition for Fiorentina. Sassuolo have won their last three at home, against Lazio, Juventus and Carpi, and given the quality of the first two, they are good enough to topple Fiorentina as well.
The 3.9 that's knocking around seems fair enough for a home win, even given Fiorentina's away form, which has seen them score an average of 2.1 goals per game on their travels.
Paulo Sousa has done remarkably so far, but I'm not sure about the long term sustainability of La Viola's title challenge, and we'll see a hiccup or two before the winter break. This may very well be one of them.
Be aware though that Sassuolo are without their star player Domenico Berardi, as he begins a three-match ban for a vicious reaction foul. Gregoire Defrel's pace should still cause the Fiorentina back line some big problems.
Recommended Bet: Back Sassuolo to beat Fiorentina @ 3.9
Staked: 36 points