Italian Serie A
On this page you find articles on Italian Serie A and sports betting in general.
Parma V UdineseSunday, 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
The top leagues all across the European continent will conclude this week, though those seeking drama and suspense probably needn't bother tuning into the final set of Serie A fixtures.
Matters at both end of the table have already been resolved without the need of any final day thrills and spills, to the displeasure of the neutrals.
Inter's stranglehold over the Scudetto (Italian Championship) came to an end thanks to arch rivals AC Milan's capture of the 2010/2011 title, doing so in emphatic fashion with several fixtures to spare as the Rossonerri clinched their 18th Italian league title.
Consolation for Inter Milan comes in the form of second, which they are guaranteed meaning they'll once again ply their trade in the UEFA Champions League next season.
Joining Inter in Europe's elite club competition will be Napoli, who at one stage were Milan's closest pursuer for the Scudetto but predictably ended up fading in the closing stages.
Bari and Brescia were relegated from the top-flight of Italian football after collecting a miserly sum of 21 and 31 points respectively. However, the fact Sampdoria will join them in Serie B next season – this a club who were competing in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League at the very beginning of the term – came as a major shock to everyone, in and outside of Italy.
So there you have it, all the important stuff done and dusted. Perhaps not quite. There is still the small matter of who acquires European football next season.
The fourth and final Champions League berth is a two-way tussle between Udinese and Lazio, with the former two-points clear in fourth and head into the final day needing only to avoid defeat at home to the newly crowned champions AC Milan.
Then there's the battle for the Europa League. AS Roma are hot favourites as they currently occupy sixth position, the last position which rewards occupants with entry into Europe's second tier competition, three-points clear of Juventus who need to beat third-placed Napoli and hope already relegated Sampdoria defeat the Romans in the Italian capital.
Juventus V Napoli – Sunday, 22 May 2011 (19:45)
Tip 1: LAY Juventus @ 1.93 Betfair
Napoli's season has effectively been over for some several weeks now, and boy have the Naples outfit played like a team lacking in motivation. A narrow 1-0 triumph over Genoa at home is their solitary league win in their last five while Sunday will also see them bid to avoid a third consecutive away reverse, having suffered back-to-back 2-1 defeats away at Palermo and Lecce.
Fortunately for Napoli manager Walter Mazzari, who is eager for his side to end a highly successful season – qualifying for next season's Champions League – on a high, his team face an inconsistent Juventus who are already looking for a new manager for next season after it was confirmed on Saturday that Luigi Del Neri would be relieved of his duties after Sunday's game following a dismal campaign which is unlikely to be salvaged by entry into the continent's second tier club competition.
Juventus require a favour in Rome from Sampdoria and victory over Napoli if they're to sneak into sixth and snatch the final berth into next season's Europa League. I'm not sure what's more plausible – relegated Samp, who have won only one of their previous eleven road encounters, beating Roma in the Italian capital or a Juventus side which has drawn its last two home games with mediocre opposition in the form of Catania and Chievo dispatching of third in the table Napoli?
The Turin giants are a club in disarray – especially amid reports suggesting Del Neri has been handed his marching orders, and you'd have to be mad to back them at anything resembling odds-on.
Napoli, meanwhile, have gone off the boil since dropping out of Scudetto contention but haven't finished third by chance. They've been excellent throughout, comprehensively beating Juventus earlier in the season 3-0 in Naples, and will want to end a fabulous campaign on a winning note.
AS Roma V Sampdoria – Sunday, 22 May 2011 (19:45)
Tip 2: 0-0 Draw (Correct Score) @ 21.00 Boylesports OR Draw @ 5.25 bWin
A constant source of frustration throughout the 2010/2011 Serie A term, Roma are a definite no-go at well odds-on to dispatch of relegated, deflated and damn right awful Sampdoria.
It has been a truly miserable campaign for the Romans, who at the beginning of the season had high hopes of challenging for the championship, a top-four finish at the very least. Instead, because of their lack of consistency, they'll consider themselves a tad fortunate just to seal a top-six finish, and with it Europa League football next season.
Three-points ahead of seventh-placed Juventus with only one match left to play, Roma only need a point from Sunday's game to guarantee European Football next season. But, after going down 2-1 in Catania last weekend and having won only one of their last four league fixtures at home, I wouldn't like to think they are worthy of their 1/3 price quote.
Having said that, they are playing Sampdoria who only last week were confirmed as the third and final team to be relegated from the top-flight of Italian football. It has come as a shock considering the Genoa outfit began the season in the Champions League, albeit in the qualifying round.
But their demise came about through their own wrongdoing, with the club's decision to depart with their two main strikers – statistics would suggest the only strikers at the club who could actually locate the nets – heavily criticised by everyone in the country, especially their supporters who had to endure the heartache of demotion to the second tier courtesy of some ridiculous decisions from the club's hierarchy.
Both Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini were sold in January, and from February onwards Sampdoria plundered a mere 10 goals in their final 16 games of the season.
Despite their apparent lack of fire-power, Samp have rarely been overawed at the back, certainly in the second part of the term, and there could be value in getting on both teams drawing a blank. After all, the home side need only a point to lock-in a sixth-place finish while the visitors will just want to get Sunday over and done with.
I'd advise very small stakes with this one.
Sampdoria V Bologna
Kick-Off: Sunday, 13th February – 14:00 (GMT)
Competition: Serie A
A difficult term could end in disaster should Sampdoria not buck up their ideas, and fast. A shock exit from Europe, when bowing out at just the Group Stage of the Europa League, as well as the January sales of their deadly striking duo of Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini have made for a nightmare season which has every chance of being compounded should the club fail in their bid to avoid the drop. And speaking of relegation, that is exactly what their Sunday opponents, Bologna, also have on their minds and their impressive turn of form has seen their chances of evading the drop increase tenfold.
The Rossoblu have been a personal favourite of mine this season, a resilient side who have been formidable on their own patch. Away from home, though, Bologna are suspect with six of their reverses in Serie A this season having come when forced to go travelling. But their away form has improved immensely of late, losing just one of their previous five away matches in a run which includes creditable draws at Parma (0-0) and the in-form Udinese (1-1) but also a 2-0 victory over Bari, albeit against a side destined for relegation it would seem.
Last weekend's hard-fought 1-0 win at home over Catania saw Bologna rise to 12th in the table, putting a healthy seven points between them and the bottom three, which could be seen as a double-edged sword in many ways, as while relegation is now at arm's length, teams have been known to take their foot off the gas in similar situations.
A lot of their success boils down to the goalscoring exploits of Marco Di Vaio, who has found the back of the net 14 times in Serie A this season but failed to get on the scoresheet last weekend. It would be hasty and foolish to presume Bologna's main man has come off the boil, as it was only one game, but we weren't impressed with Bologna's overall performance against Catania last weekend and without two key figures in the form of Miguel Angel Britos and Francesco Della Rocca, we feel the team who have done us proud on so many occasions this season may struggle to leave Genoa with a result, as away from home they are definitely still vulnerable.
Sampdoria are in dire straights at the minute having failed to win any of their last five league games, and just one of their previous eight in a dismal sequence of results which has seen Blucerchiati plummet down the league table, where they now reside in a disconcerting 14th, just four points above the relegation zone. This being a team touted for Europe at the start of the season, possibly even a top-four finish, so to say their fall from grace has been startling would be a massive understatement.
It didn't take us long to figure out where it's all going wrong for La Samp. Goals, a serious lack of them as well, is what is costing them valuable points. Quite simply, Sampdoria haven't recovered nor managed to replace the seemingly irreplaceable duo of Cassano and Pazzini, who were a forward partnership feared by the whole of Serie A. Now manager Domenico Di Carlo, who earlier this week received the dreaded vote of confidence from the board, is left with former Middlesbrough flop Massimo Maccarone and Manchester United youngster Frederico Macheda as his stand-out striking options, with neither having opened their accounts for the club since joining during the January transfer window.
Since beating AS Roma 2-1 at home in what remains their only victory in the league during an otherwise dismal period of two months, Sampdoria haven't mustered a single goal in Serie A, going their last five games without scoring, a total of 508 minutes. It really is worrying times for a club who are aiming to avoid a fourth successive defeat on Sunday, although they won't get many better opportunities to end their barren spell than a home clash with a Bologna side who while they may be resilient, and boasting an abundance of character and fighting spirit, are vulnerable away from home and don't score too many goals in front of goal either, which is just as well as neither do Sampdoria.
Call me crazy, but I'm backing Sampdoria to come good for a change against a team who have produced many a winning bet for me this season. Although, I'm counting on it being tight, with 1-0 standing out like a sore thumb. I wouldn't be surprised if Macheda popped up with the winner as well, with the Italian arriving back home in buoyant mood after scoring a late winner for the Italy U21s against England during the week.
Sampdoria to WIN @ 2.10 WilliamHill
Sampdoria to WIN by 1 Goal @ 3.50 Bet365
Sampdoria 1-0 (Correct Score) @ 6.75 Unibet
Frederico Macheda to Score @ 3.20 Boylesports