Serie A Match Previews: Match Week 28

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Updated: March 10, 2014
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Hellas Verona vs. Internazionale

Match Date: 15 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadio Marc`Antonio Bentegodi

(Featured image: Inter | Source: enca.com)

 

Despite losing all three points from a loss they incurred from Bologna 2-0, Verona are still locked in the top seven—and still one place away from securing a Europa League seeding. The defeat was their 11th this season, a record that rather poorly complements their dozen-piece triumphs. The year 2014 seems to be a trying period for Gialloblu, having suffered nearly half of their downfalls from their last nine matches alone.

 

A first-half header from Rodrigo Palacio was decisive in Inter Milan’s victory over Torino. The Argentine striker volleyed the only goal of the clash on the half-hour mark to send his team again to winning ways after having to drop two points from each of their two previous meetings. The win helped them retain their top five position and Walter Mazzarri would certainly hope that his men will ascend even higher.

 

Football betting tip: This match will conclude in a very narrow win for Inter.

 

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Atalanta vs. Sampdoria

Match Date: 16 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Atleti Azzurri d’Italia

 

Atalanta subdued 10-man Lazio 1-0 to score their first triumph outside their home court on weekend since early October of last year. Maximiliano Moralez’s goal on the hour mark determined the eventual winners at the Stadio Olimpico.  Sampdoria, meanwhile, came from two goals down to slam Livorno 4-2 with a breathtaking second-half maneuver at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Nenad Krsticic, Stefano Okaka, and Manolo Gabbiadini solidly delivered in what was one of their squad’s (and perhaps, Serie A’s) arguably best halves of football this season.

 

While both sides are reasonably good at aerial duels and have been very successful in their respective recent battles, neither is completely certain of shrugging off relegation fears. Sampdoria and Atalanta are ranked side-by-side in the league table, at numbers 12 and 13, respectively.

 

Sports betting tip: Expect the sides to share the spoils.

 

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AC Milan vs. Parma

Match Date:  16 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

(Featured image: Milan | Source: terra.com)

 

AC Milan’s bid to rank higher than in the mid-table was even more shattered by a crucial win for Udinese on weekend at the Stadio Communale Friuli. Antonio Di Natale inflicted Rossoneri a 10th point-empty disease (or a second straight loss) via a spectacular volley midway through the second half. The upset resulted in Clarence Seedorf’s men falling nine points behind of the top five, putting them under increased pressure to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League when they face Atletico Madrid this week.

 

Parma toppled Hellas Verona to pull ahead in the race for a Europa League qualification with a 2-0 victory at Stadio Ennio Tardini. Jonathan Biabiany’s first-half goal put Roberto Donadoni’s men in the lead which was then doubled late in the fixture through Ezequiel Schelotto’s stoppage-time goal. The success allowed I Crociati to defend their sixth-place standing with total earnings of 43 points.

 

Online betting tip: This match could boil down into a thrilling stalemate.

 

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Cagliari vs. Lazio

Match Date:  16 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadio San Elia

 

Despite a second-half opener from Matias Vecino, Cagliari still lost the opportunity to earn all three points as they were held in a 1-1 draw by strugglers Catania. Gonzalo Bergessio delivered an equalizer nine minutes after Cagliari secured the lead and the scoring went deadlock until full-time. The result thus awarded Diego López’s men with just one point to keep them stagnated in the mid-table.

 

Lazio’s clean record at home since December 2 was finally tainted after they were edged out by resilient Atalanta at the Stadio Olimpico; ironically, it was the latter’s first away win since October 5. The result inevitably forced Edoardo Reja’s lads to be marooned in the eight spot, not bad for a top-tier contender but still not enough to secure them berth in the Europa League.

 

Football betting tip: Cagliari and Lazio are on track to obtaining their 12th and 9th draw this season, respectively.

 

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 3

Livorno vs. Bologna

Match Date:  16 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Armando Picchi

(Featured image: Livorno | Source: Zimbio)

 

While they may have left Stadio Luigi Ferraris with two goals, Livorno were still three points shy to dominate their match against Sampdoria. The latter exhibited one of the most impressive second-half displays in the season, dwarfing the former’s two-goal lead (both by Ibrahima Mbaye) in the first period. An equalizer by Nenad Krsticic, an own goal by Federico Ceccherini, a shot by Stefano Okaka, and a late rally by Manolo Gabbiadini all inflicted a three-point deficit into Amaranto. This has further exacerbated their relegation worries which extended to a 16th non-consecutive week.

 

Bologna goalkeeper Gianluca Curci was in his usual impressive self when he and his side welcomed struggling Sassuolo into the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara on weekend after they held them in a draw. But even with the super goalkeeping skills, Bologna still failed to make a positive change in their poor form. The side are running a four-week streak without a win, and all of which were goalless. They are just two points away from tumbling into the relegation zone, and so a victory in their next battle would be tremendously crucial.

 

Sports betting tip: Neither of these sides have shown striking performance in the past several top-tier weeks. A deadlock—goalless perhaps—should then be expected.

 

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Sassuolo vs. Catania

Match Date:  16 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Città del Tricolore

 

Strugglers Sassuolo and Catania are fighting their way out of the relegation zone; the troupes are ranked 20th and 19th respectively. The sides, who are soon be meeting for a chance of bagging three additional points, will have their weaknesses serve as each other’s opportunities to wreak assault.

 

In terms of form, Rossazzurri have a less disastrous streak than their hosts who have been unproductive for eight straight weeks. If not for the draw they scored from Bologna (which also marked Eusebio Di Francesco’s managerial comeback with the team), Neroverdi would have incurred their 18th defeat (out of 27 matches) this season. Catania, meanwhile, still face serious problems on inconsistency which have already caused them serious damage in eight of their past 10 Serie A fixtures for 2014.

 

Online betting tip: In this match, Catania and Sassuolo could switch places in the league table. The hosts will pull off a much-needed victory to lift them off the table’s foot.

 

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 4

Fiorentina vs. Chievo Verona

Match Date:  16 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi

(Featured image: Fiorentina | Source: eurosport.yahoo.com)

 

In terms of discipline in the offside and possession of the ball, Chievo are yet to gain their ground. The side have already committed several errors, lost scoring chances aplenty, and conceded a substantial number of goals. Form-wise, they are not doing well either. In fact, Eugenio Corini’s men have already lost 15 of their Serie A matches and were in the drop zone eight times in the previous weeks.

 

Whereas Fiorentina, who have a very good chance at obtaining a Champions League seeding, are enjoying a massive run in the Italian top-flight league. Beaten only eight times this season and triumphed in 13 fixtures, Vincenzo Montella’s players may well look forward to a very strong finish in the tournament.

 

Football betting tip: Fiorentina will dominate this match via clean sheet.

 

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Genoa vs. Juventus

Match Date:  16 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Comunale Luigi Ferraris

 

In spite of an impressive equalizer by Alberto Gilardino, Genoa still ended up as the underdogs after struggling Sassuolo fire goals in between the leveler—both by Alberto Paloschi. This put an end to Rossoblu’s four-week unbeaten run in the Italian top-tier football and a considerable points deficit which hindered them from advancing past the top 11. Meanwhile, Juventus are unquestionably dominating the entire race. The side’s tremendously large gap from other squads would allow them to rank atop the table even if they lose their next four matches, which of course, sounds very unlikely. Vecchia Signora have been undefeated in Serie A since mid-October of last year, although their current Champions league campaign is not looking that pretty (W1-D3-L2).

 

Sports betting tip: Juventus are on their way to bagging their 24th victory this season.

 

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 5

Torino vs. Napoli

Match Date: 17 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino

(Featured image: Torino | Source: Zimbio)

 

Torino’s current form is far from being smooth. It sails on a very rough sea as four of the side’s last five fixtures all ended up shipwrecked. This streak contrasts their results from earlier matches where they scored wins aplenty and marooned themselves in the top six at one point.

 

Napoli, meanwhile, stand strong at number three. The former table leaders (in the season’s first three weeks) are only three points behind the current runners up and may actually overtake them given Partenopei’s stable Serie A results (not to mention that they recently toppled them). However, reclaiming the superior spot might seem a long shot at Juventus, the frontrunners, are 14 points clear of their nearest rivals. Regardless, the berth in the Champions League is almost completely sealed for Rafael Benítez’s men.

 

Online betting tip: Torino will have serious challenge of turning their form around and confronting a Napoli side will certainly not help. Expect the visitors grab the silverware, albeit on a very narrow scoring.

 

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AS Roma vs. Udinese

Match Date:  17 March 2014 (local)

Match Venue: Stadio Olimpico

 

To the dismay of coach Rudi Garcia, AS Roma had their gap with third placers Napoli made even narrower as they were beaten by the Rafael Benítez side on weekend at the Stadio San Paolo 1-0. It was a display which swung from end to end with the goalkeepers from both sides called into action regularly. Morgan De Sanctis was generally robust at saving the goals, but Napoli striker Jose Callejon’s sharp volley from 20-yard successfully outshone the goalkeeper’s skills and pulled off the lone goal of the match. Giallorossi remain second to Juventus, but Napoli are increasingly becoming a strong threat.

 

Udinese, after five weeks of drought, have finally found the three-point oasis as they trounced Milan on a one-goal clean sheet. The goalless deadlock persisted for more than an hour until a decisive goal from Antonio Di Natale gave the Francesco Guidolin side the lead. The rest of the second half, as with the first period, was clad in defensive operations which eventually converted the initially scoring into a final one. Though they are now 10 points clear of the drop zone, Udinese must still be cautious of their next moves in order to completely attain security.

 

Football betting tip: Roma will emerge winners from this brawl, but Udinese will not head home without any goal scored.