Following a profitable midweek, Enzo gives his betting predictions for some of the big games taking place in Italy this weekend.
Fiorentina v Juventus Sat 3rd Sep 14:00
This inter-city rivalry is one of the fiercest in Italy and the games are usually goal laden, feisty affairs. However, this edition is unlikely to be as action packed as previous years because Fiorentina and Juventus have both been struggling in front of goal.
La Viola have only scored twice in four outings, all coming in the opening fixture against newly promoted Cremonese. Luka Jovic, who was brought in to replace Vlahović, has cut a frustrated figure up front. The Serb has been starved of service from a midfield that looks totally bereft of any creativity. On the plus side, Fiorentina have carried their strong home form and defensive solidity over from last season. So far, they have beaten Cremonese and held Napoli to a 0-0 stalemate at the Franchi.
On paper Juve’s scoring record looks far better. They put three past Sassuolo on the opening day but since then they have managed just one goal from open play in three games. Dušan Vlahović twice saved them with fantastic free kicks against Roma and Spezia but similarly to Jovic, he has been isolated in the box for the majority of play. Also, like Fiorentina, Juventus have been excellent defensively, Tammy Abraham’s header was the only time the Bianconeri’s backline has been breached.
Under 2.5 goals is the obvious selection here but 4/6 is a bit too small for me. Instead, I am banking on a tight, uneventful affair and going with the draw @ 9/4. I will also put a small stake on a correct score 0-0 at 8/1 as I can’t see much goalmouth action happening.
Lazio v Napoli Sat 3rd Sep 19:45
Lazio threw away a one goal lead, in a game they were in total control of, away to Sampdoria midweek. The Biancocelesti are yet to win on the road but as always, they are a different proposition in Rome. Already Bologna and Inter have tasted defeat at the Olimpico which is a tough place to go for any team.
Napoli started the season in style by vanquishing Verona and mauling Monza. Things have since stalled a bit following two draws with Lecce and Fiorentina. It looks like Spaletti will need a little more time to integrate all his new signings, in particular the more forward positions where he has an abundance of riches.
It’s always worth backing Lazio against the bigger sides, especially at home. The Biancocelesti are inconsistent but at the same time they can be scintillating. Their recent results, beating Inter then drawing with Samp, are a perfect demonstration of this. I’m willing to take a chance on them causing another upset-on Saturday at a big price. Lazio win @ 2/1 is my second Serie A bet of the weekend.
Udinese v Roma Sun 4th Sep 19:45
Roma are shaping up to be a real vintage Mourinho side. They have conceded just one goal in four games and the 3-0 victory against Monza was the only match that exceeded 2.5.
Udinese are one of those sides whose performances differ depending on whether they are playing at home or away. In the Dacia Arena they have played out a 1-0 victory and a 0-0 draw whereas away they have gone 4-2 and 2-1.
Initially I was tempted by an away win, but Udinese are a dogged side so the 10/11 available doesn’t appeal to me. Instead, I am going to go with Under 2.5 Goals @ Evs which offers a tiny bit more value and seems like the safer option.
Fiorentina v Juventus: Draw @ 9/4
Lazio v Napoli: Lazio Win @ 2/1
Udinese v Roma: Under 2.5 Goals @ Evs