Dave Farrar predicts Napoli, Atalanta and Roma will provide entertainment, as Crotone and Udinese won't go down without a fight...
“Napoli have won four out of five to surge into fifth, and they now will be eyeing up a Champions League finish, and possibly even a second placed one. Below Inter, it all seems to be up for grabs.”
Napoli v Crotone
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First to Naples, where Napoli will hope that their resurgence under the departing Gennaro Gattuso continues against bottom of the table Crotone. Napoli have won four out of five to surge into fifth, and they now will be eyeing up a Champions League finish, and possibly even a second placed one. Below Inter, it all seems to be up for grabs.
I was hugely impressed by Napoli in their wins in Milan and Rome, and they'll surely beat Crotone, but the form of the brilliant Serse Cosmi's team suggests that it will be an interesting watch.
Kalidou Koulibaly is suspended for the home team, which instantly makes them more vulnerable, and given that Nwankwo Simy has now scored six goals in his last four games, and that Crotone have managed nine in that run, I strongly fancy them to score at least once here, and I reckon that this game could be a real Easter Saturday treat.
Tempting though it is to put up Over 5.5 Goals, on the basis that Crotone's last four games have produced 22, and Napoli have plenty of forward players with points to prove, I'll stick with Over 3.5 Goals here at 2.427/5.
Atalanta v Udinese
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Atalanta are now firmly in a battle for third place in Serie A, and seeing as they start the weekend only four points behind Milan in second, that too remains a possibility. How fans of La Dea must regret their October and November form. But for that, they would be real title contenders.
They have an awkward task on Saturday against Udinese. Luca Gotti's side had gone five unbeaten before their reverse against Lazio last time, and that was also the first game in five in which they hadn't scored. And I think that forms the basis of the play here.
Atalanta are famous, justifiably so, for blowing teams away, but they have also developed a habit of conceding goals rather cheaply. They still have the joint fifth best defence in the League, but have let in six more goals at home than they have away, a suggestion that their progressive style in Bergamo will always lead to more attacking opportunities, but also to them giving up more chances.
Gian Piero Gasperini's team have now let in at least a goal in their last four home games, including against Spezia, Crotone and three against Torino, and I think that makes Udinese, who have failed to score only three times since the end of December, more than likely to get a goal here. With Atalanta always extremely likely to find the back of the net themselves, that makes "Yes" in the Both Teams to Score market extremely attractive at 1.9620/21.
Sassuolo v Roma
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Roma and Sassuolo have increasing amounts of injuries to deal with, and while Roberto De Zerbi's rest of season task revolves around holding onto eighth place in Serie A, Paulo Fonseca now looks like he's at the helm of a club in crisis.
Roma have lost their last two Serie A games, have faded to sixth, and have a Europa League trip to Ajax to come on Thursday. They would love to concentrate on that game and take this one in their stride, but they haven't earned the right to do that, and now they look vulnerable.
Normally, I would have no hesitation in tipping Sassuolo at 4.57/2 to pull off the win. With Manuel Locatelli, Francesco Caputo and Mimmo Berardi out though, they are blunted a little, and their occasional habit of self-destructing (see their recent game against Torino) also puts me off a little. They'll give Roma nightmares, though, and Roma are short at 1.774/5 for the win.
Roma haven't scored in their last two matches, but I think that makes them more likely to be on the front foot here, and that means that we could well be in for a fun game. De Zerbi likes to entertain, and Jeremie Boga and Gregoire Defrel are not the worst replacements for Caputo and Berardi and so they'll find a way to goal. I favour Over 3.5 Goals at 2.77/4: three of Sassuolo's last four games have had five goals, and this may just be similar.
Dave’s Serie A P/L – 2020/21
Staked: 82 points
Returned: 74.43 points
P/L: -7.57 points
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Back Over 3.5 Goals in Napoli v Crotone @ 2.427/5
Back “Yes” to Both Teams to Score in Atalanta v Udinese @ 1.9620/21
Back Over 3.5 Goals in Sassuolo v Roma @ 2.77/4