Dave Farrar predicts a fourth consecutive victory for the Viola in Brescia, while Atalanta can see off Lazio and Claudio Ranieri will inaugurate his Sampdoria career by beating Roma...
“All of those early season concerns now look a little premature, with La Viola up to eighth in Serie A and playing attractive football. They could even end the weekend in the Top Four.”
Four in a row for Fiorentina
Brescia v Fiorentina
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I've enjoyed watching Fiorentina's return to form in recent weeks, and after a break, Franck Ribery and co will be ready to go again against Brescia and try to make it four Serie A wins in a row.
All of those early season concerns now look a little premature, with La Viola up to eighth in Serie A and playing attractive football. They could even end the weekend in the Top Four if results were to go their way.
Brescia looked like being a team to follow this season, and I still think that they're finding their feet, but they've lost their first two home games, against Bologna and Juve, and all six of their points have come in hard fought 1-0 wins away from the Rigamonti.
La Viola have lost only one of their last 18 Serie A games against Brescia, and that, frankly, is because they have traditionally had significantly better players. That remains the case, and makes Fiorentina, showing form and determination, a good bet to come away with a fourth successive victory and have observers wondering what all of the on field fuss was about.
Atalanta march on Rome again
Lazio v Atalanta
After a confusingly desperate showing in the Champions League, Atalanta have found terrific form in Serie A, and they head to Lazio as very lively 3.185/40 shots.
There's always a worry with Atalanta that they can throw in a poor performance when you least expect it, and their Cup Final in this stadium against this opposition was a case in point.
They've now won three Serie A games in a row, though, including here against Roma, and they'll be full of confidence as they take on a Lazio team who themselves can be frustratingly inconsistent.
Lazio have won here this season against Parma, Genoa and Rennes, but this represents a step up in class, and if Atalanta can impose their uptempo style on Simone Inzaghi's team, and take their chances, then I think that they'll come away with the win. Duvan Zapata is injured, but Luis Muriel is raring to go in his place.
Atalanta have now won their last four Serie A away games, and won their last two against Lazio. I think that they can extend those runs, and are handily priced to do so.
Perfect debut for Ranieri
Sampdoria v Roma
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Claudio Ranieri takes over his 17th different club this weekend, and faces the team that he supported as a boy, his beloved Roma.
Samp have had an awful start to the season, losing six of their opening seven games, and it was no surprise to hear that Eusebio Di Francesco had left the club. Ranieri wasn't first choice, isn't a very sexy choice, but he did do some good work at Roma last season, and he may just be the right fit for Samp.
The home team will look more organised than they have all season so far, and that may allow Fabio Quagliarella, starved of service so far, to hurt Roma. Samp have won only two of their last seven in Serie A against Roma, and are clear outsiders here, but given Roma's considerable injury worries, and the absence from the touchline of their fiery Coach Paulo Fonseca, I wouldn't be surprised to see an emotional home win.
Roma will be without Lorenzo Pellegrini, Edin Dzeko, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Diego Perotti, Amadou Diawara and Davide Zappacosta, and for all Fonseca's talk of the injuries being an irrelevance, I don't think that they are.
Given their less than impressive showings, it seems odd that Roma have won their last two away games, leading layers to favour them strongly for this, but Dzeko in particular is a huge miss, and Marassi may just welcome in a new Sampdoria dawn under a smiling Claudio Ranieri.
Staked: 18 Points
Return: 21.03 points
P/L: + 3.03 points
Back Fiorentina to beat Brescia @ 2.0621/20
Back Atalanta to beat Lazio @ 3.185/40
Back Sampdoria to beat Roma @ 3.39/4