Dave Farrar predicts the Scudetto winners will fold to Cagliari, while both Milanese clubs are due a beating by the Romans...
“The stats say that Cagliari shouldn't have a prayer, but my colleague feels strongly that Juve's big weakness lies in their lack of squad strength, and that their second team would struggle to stay in Serie A. Based on that, Cagliari must have more chance than a price of 6.86/1 would have you believe.”
Juventus v Cagliari
Juventus did the job for us last week, but a very good judge has convinced me that they may be vulnerable this weekend. This is a strange tip in the sense that I'm not entirely convinced by it yet, but I've always believed that you should listen to others who know more than you, and a persuasive colleague who has watched Juve's second team regularly this calendar year has made me believe.
Let me explain: Juve will play their second string against Cagliari on Saturday: there's no question about that, and that's why the Champions are backable at 1.625/8 to beat a Cagliari team facing relegation. My initial thought was that Juve's second string, led by Kingsley Coman is still a lot better than Cagliari's first team, and that 1.625/8 looked like value.
I watched Cagliari on Monday night, and was impressed by their fighting spirit against a desperately poor Parma (boy, did I get THAT wrong). Gianluca Festa has clearly had an influence and the interesting thing about the Sardinians this weekend is that they MUST win. A draw really won't be much use.
The stats say that Cagliari shouldn't have a prayer, but my colleague feels strongly that Juve's big weakness lies in their lack of squad strength, and that their second team would struggle to stay in Serie A. Based on that, Cagliari must have more chance than a price of 6.86/1 would have you believe.
Juve have lost away from home in recent weeks to both Parma and Torino, and those games came before they had won the title. Now that they have been confirmed as Champions, focus will be on the Champions League, the Coppa Italia and nothing else.
Cagliari are weakened by the absence of Paul-Jose M'Poku and Daniele Dessena, but strengthened by the return of Andrea Cossu, and they won't be playing for a draw as it's of no use to them. They may not get the win that they need, but they'll never have a better chance of winning here, and they're overpriced to do so.
Cagliari to beat Juventus @ 6.86/1
Milan v Roma
Live on BT Sport 1
Saturday night's game is another of those fixtures that looks big on paper, but may not be enough to set the pulse racing. Yes, Roma are still chasing second place and winning their last two matches has put them in a good position to finish as runners up, and that's the only thing that makes the game interesting.
Pippo Inzaghi must be on the brink at Milan. They've lost three in a row, and were beaten in their most recent home game against Genoa. The absence of Jeremy Menez has been a huge blow, and will continue to be for this one, with Mattia De Sciglio also missing after his red card in Naples. I can't see Roma not winning and, while 2.0621/20 looks short, I think that they're a bet.
This is one of those cases where Roma would be odds on IF they were playing a team of Milan's ability who weren't called Milan. Inzaghi's team of mid-table fodder will be eaten up by Roma, and he'll head closer to the exit door.
Back Roma to beat Milan @ 2.0621/20
Lazio v Inter
Live on BT Sport 1
Inter aren't as bad as Milan, and Lazio are maybe just short of Roma's quality, but I still feel that it'll be Rome 2 Milan 0 come Sunday evening. Draws against Chievo and Atalanta have cost Lazio lately, but they were both tough games, and I don't really think that there's any shame in failing to beat two teams fighting towards the bottom.
The Mancini project at Inter is certainly gathering pace, and I believe that they have far more chance than Milan of improving next season. They haven't been beaten since the end of March, but with Lazio trying to keep pace with Roma in the race for second, I think that they have the motivational edge here. Even though I'd have liked to see them trading at odds against, I still think that they're backable at 1.9210/11.
Coach Stefano Pioli should also be boosted by the likely return from injury of Stefan de Vrij and Lucas Biglia.
Back Lazio to beat Inter @ 1.9210/11