Dave Farrar predicts a spectacular game in Sicily, Empoli to upset Milan and Lazio facing an Udinese surprise...
“Both teams have scored in five of their last six home games, and with Napoli dynamic when going forward, I think that's a likely eventuality in Palermo. I want to be a bit more ambitious though, as I think that this fixture is made for goals.”
Palermo v Napoli
Live on BT Sport 1
I'll be commentating from the Renzo Barbera on Saturday night and am expecting a spectacular game. Palermo let us down at Inter last weekend, but are a different animal at home, where they have the third best record in Serie A.
Both teams have scored in five of their last six home games, and with Napoli dynamic when going forward, I think that's a likely eventuality here. You can back that at 1.8910/11 which seems a fair price to me.
I want to be a bit more ambitious though, as I think that this fixture is made for goals. I had a similar hunch ahead of Napoli's game against Cagliari a while back, and that perfect blend of attacking styles led to a 3-3 draw.
That was the scoreline when these two met earlier in the season, and something similar wouldn't surprise me at all here. Neither side has a big injury issue, though Dries Mertens and Giancarlo Gonzalez are suspended, and both are playing well. We should be set for a Sicilian goal fest.
Back Over 4.5 Goals @ 6.86/1
Udinese v Lazio
Neither Udinese nor Lazio are in particularly good form at the moment. The men from the Friuli won just one of their last eight in the League, while Lazio lost their last two and run the risk of fading from the Champions League picture.
Antonio Candreva needs a fitness test this weekend, and that's a big blow, as he and Felipe Anderson have been major creative influences. Federico Marchetti, Stefano Mauri and Lorik Cana all sit out bans with Senad Lulic still sidelined.
Udinese are solid and unspectacular, and Andrea Stramaccioni is over-reliant on Antonio Di Natale for goals, but they're just the kind of team that's capable of frustrating an out of sorts Lazio, and I feel that they're worth chancing here at 3.211/5. Panagiotis Kone and Giovanni Pasquale are suspended.
That price is available because their record looks poor, but they've been playing a little better than results suggest, and having won four of their last eight in Serie A against Lazio there's no question of them being short on confidence.
Lazio were fortunate to win here last season in a crazy game of goals and a red card, but I think that this will be more subdued, and will have a different outcome.
Back Udinese to Win @ 3.211/5
Milan v Empoli
Live on BT Sport 2
Finally to the Sunday morning game at San Siro. Milan are in poor form, and while there was no shame in losing to Juve last week, there's absolutely no reason why they should be odds on to beat Empoli.
The team from Tuscany ended a nine-match run without a win by beating Cesena, and they're more than capable of frustrating Milan and nicking a win here.
Empoli have beaten Milan twice before, both times at San Siro, and both by a 1-0 scoreline. With only Chievo conceding more shots at goal than Milan in 2015, Empoli will fancy that they can score here, and if they do that, then they're good enough defensively to hold on.
They've already drawn at Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli, and this current Rossoneri side is no match for any of those three teams.
Empoli are 5.59/2 to win, and 13.012/1 to do so by a 1-0 scoreline. With Milan having already lost at home this year to Atalanta and Sassuolo, both of those prices make serious appeal.
Back Empoli to Win @ 5.59/2
Back Empoli to win 1-0 @ 13.012/1
Staked: 63 pts
Returned: 63.81 pts
P/L: +0.81 pts