Dave Farrar predicts plenty of goals in the penultimate round with Juventus hosting Inter and the Rome Derby, but Cagliari can trouble the Rossoneri...
“When the fixture list came out, it looked as if this penultimate weekend of the season could be something really special. Scudetto on the line, possibly at two venues, and two of the great derby games to just about round off a potential changing of the guard.”
Milan v Cagliari
Live on Premier Sports 1 and Betfair Live Video
Milan can make absolutely sure of their place in next season's Champions League with victory over Cagliari on Sunday night, and after they romped to that extraordinary win at Torino last time, they're strong favourites at 1.454/9 to make sure of the Top Four.
Cagliari need just a point to confirm their place in Serie A for another season, and there is little question that in the old days of Italian football, this game would have finished in a draw.
I like to think that things have changed though, and I think that Cagliari will give a good account of themselves at San Siro. Their resurgence from a seemingly impossible position has been remarkable, winning four and losing none of their last six, and they have scored in five of those games, only failing last time against Fiorentina.
It has been the improved Cagliari goal threat which has led them to the brink of survival, scoring 12 in 6 after looking impotent in 2021 to that point.
With Milan's tails up and certain to provide a threat, I think that "Yes" to both teams to score is the answer here, and happily recommend that eventuality at 1.910/11.
Juve must go for Inter
Juventus v Inter
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video
When the fixture list came out, it looked as if this penultimate weekend of the season could be something really special. Scudetto on the line, possibly at two venues, and two of the great derby games to just about round off a potential changing of the guard.
The guard changed rather quicker than we might have expected, though, and so now we have Juventus battling for a place in a competition that they want to leave against an Inter team who are doing a lap of honour after their glorious campaign.
Antonio Conte has the chance to complete the double against his old team and keep up the push to finish with 94 points, which would be Inter's second best ever total. You only needed to witness the row between Conte and Lautaro Martinez in midweek to know some aspects of Inter's professionalism remain as focused and frenzied as ever.
I was shocked to see Juventus beat Sassuolo in midweek, as I thought that Andrea Pirlo's team were done for, and I'm surprised to see Inter at 3.39/4 for the win here, which could be the price of the season, given the levels of difference that there are between the teams.
The off field issues that continue to swirl around Inter bother me enough, though, to swerve that. Conte isn't talking to the media, there are stories of players being asked to take big pay cuts, and therefore leaving, and it's all rather unedifying for a team that should be celebrating a famous title win. Are they as motivated as they might be? Will they give it everything to win? They might, but I would question it enough to avoid backing them.
There's no question, though, that Inter are starting to enjoy themselves and, after months of criticism, show once again how entertaining they can be when there's no title to worry about. Juve will be willing dance partners as a draw won't do them much good. I think there'll be a few goals this weekend, and this game won't disappoint.
Rome Derby drama
Roma v Lazio
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video
So comprehensively did Lazio beat Roma earlier in the season that it's entirely logical to see Simone Inzaghi's team trading as short as 2.3211/8 to beat Roma, and that's a price that many will take. I saw improvement in Roma against Inter last time, though, and wonder whether Lazio have just started to plateau. I wouldn't jump on Lazio here, and will be looking instead for other avenues.
After losing to Fiorentina, Lazio needed a 96th minute winner to get past Parma last time, and they'll need to win their final three games, starting with this one, to give themselves any chance of finishing in the top four. Even then, they'd need a slip up from others, and so this is a must win.
That means I think that we'll see the gung-ho Lazio here, one that will risk everything to win, and against a Roma team that remains vulnerable at the back, but really potent going forward, it could lead to a classic.
Three of Lazio's last six games have gone Over 6.5 Goals, and four of Roma's last six have had Over 4.5, and I think this will lead to a heady Saturday evening cocktail. Over 4.5 Goals here is trading at 4.67/2
Dave’s Serie A P/L – 2020/21
Staked: 106 points
Returned: 104.89 points
P/L: - 1.11 points
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