Parma V Udinese
Sunday, 20 November 2011 (Kick-Off: 14:00 GMT)
Italian Serie A
Despite losing a number of key players during the summer, Udinese have began the new season in sprightly fashion and currently lead the way in Serie A. The Bianconeri boast a share of the lead with Lazio, whom played on Saturday night away in Naples, after six wins and just one defeat from their first ten matches. However, much of the success they’ve enjoyed in the early stages is down to their superb home form – five of their six wins were earned in Udine – whereas on the road they continue to encounter problems.
Francesco Guidolin’s charges are a match for absolutely anyone in their own backyard, but outside of Udine they are vulnerable. Their only reverse of the term occurred away from home, in Naples in a 2-0 loss to Napoli – a notoriously difficult fixture, it must be said. Moreover, over five hours have been clocked up since their last goal on the road, with the table-toppers failing to notch in away fixtures at Cagliari (0-0), Atalanta (0-0) and, of course, in that aforementioned loss to Napoli.
Remember, this is a side who boast last season and this season’s leading marksmen in Italian striker Antonio Di Natale. So something is clearly up with Udinese when playing away from home. Whatever it is, none of this bodes well ahead of Sunday’s trip to Romagna, where awaiting them are a Parma side a little out of sorts but whom are unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Fruili outfit.
History certainly bodes well for Parma; they’ve won three – including both last season’s encounters – and lost none of the last five Serie A meetings with Udinese, whose last victory over the Ducale club dates right back to September 2007. The form book, however, most certainly does not; A 1-0 loss in Rome to Lazio two weeks ago was their sixth of the campaign – but at home, in Romagna, is generally where we see the best of them.
Although Parma’s record on home soil this season still isn’t great (W3 D0 L2), the statistics clearly show that they are a far better outfit at home than on their travels. Two-thirds of their league goals have come at their Ennio Tardini Stadium in Emilia-Romagna (8 of 12), while they’ve also conceded eight goals fewer – five, compared with thirteen on the road.
Potentially a very tricky assignment this for Udinese, who could find themselves leapfrogged by as many as three teams should they come a cropper at Parma for the second occasion in three visits. For me, Parma are far too unreliable and inconsistent to be backing with 100% commitment, but it could pay to stick the draw in a multiple of some kind.
Two seasons ago this very fixture ended goalless and with Udinese having fired blanks in each of their previous three away matches, two of which actually finishing 0-0, there could also be value in the correct score market.
Recommended Bet: Draw @ 9/4; Totesport
Value Punt: 0-0 Correct Score @ 15/2; VictorChandler