Serie A Betting: Back title dark horses Napoli to overcome Milan

Gonzalo Higuain will be hoping to score after bagging four in as many Serie A games against Milan
Gonzalo Higuain will be hoping to score after bagging four in as many Serie A games against Milan
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Dave Farrar predicts Napoli will conquer Milan, Sampdoria continue Inter's fall from grace and Roma revival in Palermo...

"Napoli aren't a certainty, as they come with a consistency warning, but if they're ‘on it,’ or anywhere near that level, then they're capable of destroying Milan at a very competitive price."

Milan v Napoli
Sunday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport Europe

There's a growing feeling among regular Serie A watchers that a rejuvenated Napoli under Maurizio Sarri could go close to an unlikely Serie A triumph this season. They're currently trading at 8.415/2 to win the Scudetto, and that seems a healthy price, given Napoli's ability to blow away just about anyone else in the division when they're on song.

They play with a dynamism and a tempo that only Roma can match, and, if they can lose the habit of throwing away silly points (see Carpi last Tuesday) then they are the likeliest winners of the League. I still think that Juventus will get it right, and be strong enough to win a fourth consecutive title, but it will be close.

Milan look tailor made for Napoli this weekend: they're at home and so they'll feel duty bound to go for the win, and that should play beautifully into Sarri's style. His team struggles against a side that parks the bus and plays for a 0-0 (again, see Carpi), but anyone who wants to have a shootout will find themselves on the wrong side of the result.

It concerns me a little that Napoli are in Europa League action on Thursday night, but that didn't stop them dismantling Lazio a couple of weeks ago. On that form and the performance against Juventus last week, they should be far too good for a Milan team that seems worse under Sinisa Mihajlovic than they were with the hapless Pippo Inzaghi in charge: the statistics certainly point to that, anyway.

Napoli aren't a certainty, as they come with a consistency warning, but if they're "on it", or anywhere near that level, then they're capable of destroying Milan at a very competitive price.

Alessio Romagnoli is suspended for the hosts, so teen Rodrigo Ely is expected to start his first game since the red card against Fiorentina. Mario Balotelli got back to scoring ways against Udinese and should partner Carlos Bacca.

Milan have just one point from their last four visits to the San Paolo and were torn apart 3-0 here last season.

Recommended Bet
Back Napoli to beat Milan @ 2.6813/8

Sampdoria v Inter
Sunday, 14:00
Live on BT Sport 2

Well, Inter's world came crashing down last weekend, didn't it? I was annoyed that I ignored the Serie A realist sitting on my shoulder who kept telling me that it couldn't last for Roberto Mancini and his team. He was right, and my 1-0 prediction was woefully off kilter.

Fiorentina tore Inter apart and now they head to Marassi badly wounded and in need of a positive result.

I don't think they'll get it: Samp were good enough to beat Roma in their last home game, and Walter Zenga has them playing with typical panache. Luis Muriel has been terrific this season, as have Eder and Roberto Soriano, and if it wasn't for their strange away form then they'd be in the top three.

Samp have won three from three at home this season, and with Inter likely to revert to type and play cautiously, I expect the home team to make it four from four at home and make sure that reality keeps biting for Mancini.

Stevan Jovetic remains a doubt and without Jo-Jo their attacking threat is seriously dented, as Mauro Icardi isn't up to full fitness yet.

History is not kind to the Blucerchiati, who have won this fixture only 11 times compared to 20 draws and 27 Inter victories. Home and away, Samp have just two triumphs and nine draws in their last 23 Serie A meetings with the Nerazzurri, which also helps boost the price.

Recommended Bet
Back Sampdoria to beat Inter @ 4.1

Palermo v Roma
Sunday, 14:00

I'll give the Verona Derby a swerve, as it's a game that I always get wrong (I think 0-0 is a big runner, so feel free to back Over 5.5 goals), and for the final selection we head to Sicily.

I commentated on Roma's defeat at BATE Borisov in midweek and they were terrible for a half, which cost them the game. From a distance, it's tempting to think that "if they lose in Borisov, then they'll lose to Palermo," but it's not that simple.

You're allowed a bad performance here and there, and I expect Roma to be back to their best against a team that started the season wonderfully, but which has fallen away with three straight defeats.

Palermo lost at the Renzo Barbera last time against Sassuolo, and I think that Roma can similarly strangle them.

Two away defeats in a row against one excellent opponent (Samp) and one that got a little lucky (BATE) doesn't make you a bad team. Roma will be in the mix come the end of the season, and their mini-recuperation will start this weekend.

Of course there is still the problem of injuries, as Francesco Totti, Edin Dzeko and Seydou Keita are out for at least three weeks, but Antonio Rudiger should return in defence.

Roma's recent record at the Stadio Barbera is one win, two draws and three defeats.

Recommended Bet
Back Roma to beat Palermo @ 2.021/1

2015-16 P/L

STAKED: 18 points
RETURNED: 25.64 points
P/L + 7.64 points

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