Dave Farrar predicts goals in Florence, an Inter revival, and Napoli to both score and concede against Chievo...
“For all that they are capable of defending well, Fiorentina’s last three League games have produced five, three, and three goals, and that figure for Roma reads six, six, and four. If you add to that the eight that we saw at the BayArena, then we have the recipe for another irresistible game.”
Fiorentina v Roma
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It's the turn of the new top two this weekend, as Fiorentina play Roma with only one point separating them. La Viola were beaten in Naples, and know that if they lose at home against Roma, they'll give up top spot and potentially lose momentum in the Scudetto race.
Roma were involved in a Champions League classic in midweek, a 4-4 draw with Bayer Leverkusen that will linger long in the memory, and a match that summed up all that is good and bad about Rudi Garcia's teams: always scintillating going forward, occasionally shambolic at the back.
Given Fiorentina's recent performances, I'm heading down the same route here that I did at the San Paolo last week. We were unfortunate to see Over 3.5 goals as a loser in Napoli against Fiorentina, but that must be the bet again here.
For all that they are capable of defending well, Fiorentina's last three League games have produced five, three and three goals, and that figure for Roma reads six, six, and four. If you add to that the eight that we saw at the BayArena, then we have the recipe for another irresistible game.
The naysayers would argue that with both teams involved in Europe in midweek, tiredness is a worry, but I'm prepared to take that on board and still believe that there'll be goals at the Artemio Franchi on Sunday afternoon.
It'll be fun to see if Mohamed Salah starts against his former side, the same club that is currently demanding FIFA suspend him for breach of contract. These teams clashed repeatedly last season, the Viola emerging victorious in both the Coppa Italia and Europa League, but picking up one point from two Serie A meetings.
Back Over 2.5 Goals @ 1.981/1
Back Over 3.5 Goals @ 3.412/5
Palermo v Inter
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On Saturday night, Palermo look to build on last weekend's win in Bologna, while Inter hope to come back from a three-match run without a victory. I tend to be an opposer of Inter post-Jose Mourinho, as I believe that they are consistently overrated, but this time it may just be worth supporting them to beat a truly average Palermo.
The men in pink and black were fortunate to win last week, and look something approaching a shambles to me. They're poor defensively, but they have a knack of scoring (only once have they failed to find the net this season) which will be sorely tested against the best defence in Serie A.
I can see Inter grabbing a goal or two and keeping a clean sheet in a more bloodless game than is usual between these two. If you want to play around with the 1-0 and 2-0 Correct Score then I wouldn't put you off, but I'll stick with supporting Inter to win at a competitive 2.0811/10.
Back Inter to beat Palermo @ 2.0811/10
Chievo v Napoli
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We can end with Sunday night's game at the Bentegodi. Chievo's renaissance under Rolando Maran has been remarkable, but has stuttered with their failure to win in the last three.
Napoli haven't conceded a goal away from home in their last three, but their high energy and slightly risky style means that they're often vulnerable to that outcome. With Chievo having more quality in forward areas than they have in previous seasons, I think that the price for both teams scoring in this one is a little bigger than it should be.
Napoli are the likelier winners, as their price of 1.9210/11 would suggest, but we can take the slightly bigger 1.9620/21 about both teams finding the net. That's been the outcome in each of Chievo's last three matches and there's a good chance of it happening again here.
Back Both Teams to Score in Chievo v Napoli @ 1.9620/21
Staked: 24 points
Returned: 30.34 points
P/L: +6.34 points