Enzo’s Insights: Genoa destined for SHEVAnth Heaven

This weekend sees Juve travel to the Olimpico, Fiorentina host Milan and Sheva take his first steps into the world of club management. As usual Enzo is here to give his best bets for the hottest Serie A action.

Lazio v Juventus   Sat 20 Nov 17:00 BST

For a brief period, after a string of 1-0 victories, it looked like the old grind and conquer Juve were back in town. However, a shock defeat to Sassuolo followed by a 2-1 loss away to Verona showed that the early season defensive problems that dogged the Bianconeri  have not entirely been resolved. Those results effectively ended any chance of a late scudetto challenge and now, champions league football is the best Allegri can hope for. However, Juventus did return to form before the International break by chalking up another 1-0 win against Fiorentina and they are now just 4 points adrift of Atalanta in 4th.

Lazio’s imperious home record (W5 D1 L0) contrasts sharply with their tepid away form (W1 D2 L4). At the Olimpico the Aquilotti ended Inter’s unbeaten run and claimed the city’s bragging rights with a derby triumph. Once again, the man central to their success is Ciro Immobile who currently heads the Capocannoniere table with 10 goals and 2 assists. Unfortunately for Sarri, the Neapolitan striker is unavailable for selection after picking up a calf injury and will likely be replaced by Mattia Zaccagni.

Immobile’s absence will be a huge blow to the Aquilotti who rely so heavily on him to provide goals. Assuming that Juve’s last result is a harbinger of another grinding streak and factoring in Lazio’s blunted attack, I am happy to take the 7/5 on offer for a Juventus Win.

Fiorentina v AC Milan   Sat 20 Nov 19:45 BST

There is no questioning the job that Vincenzo Italiano has done with Fiorentina this season. It’s less than a third of the way through the campaign and La Viola sit in 7th with 18 points, half of last years finishing total. Fiorentina’s success stems from consistently beating the “lesser” teams. Their 6 wins have all come against clubs further down the table while 5 of their 6 losses have been to the teams above them. Without sounding too disparaging it’s fair to describe La Viola as being the cream of this seasons Serie A crap.

Milan are still unbeaten (W10 D2 L0) and The Rossoneri  have yet to slip up in the provinces. In fact they have only dropped points against Inter and Juventus. Milan continued to churn out the results and it’s increasingly clear that the title race is becoming a two horse affair between them and Napoli.

This will not be an easy game for Pioli’s side but I can’t see them floundering in Florence.  Fiorentina just lack that extra something to really trouble the top teams so I am predicting a narrow Milan win @ 5/4.

Genoa v Roma   Sun 21 Nov 19:45 BST

There has been a real buzz of excitement in Genova since Andriy Shevchenko replaced Davide Ballardini two weeks ago. It will be Sheva’s first assignment managing a club team after he guided his native Ukraine to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020. The former Milan legend has a tough task on his hands because Genoa currently sit in 17th place with just 9 points. The main problem for the Grifoni  is the defence which has been leaky at best. In his first interview Sheva acknowledged that fact and stated that he wants to build a more balanced and less top heavy side. Whether he can achieve this in the space of 14 days remains to be seen however.

Unlike in Genova the atmosphere in Rome has somewhat soured since the initial September Mou high. Roma have only managed a single victory in their last five ( W1 D1 L3) and now find themselves outside the Champions League places. Similarly to Lazio, it’s on the road (W2 D0 L4) where the damage is being done. Matchday 12’s 3-2 loss to Venezia saw the latest instalment of the Giallorossi’s away day blues.

Full disclaimer, this selection is more of a hunch than anything but I really do fancy a Genoa win @ 4/1 here. Firstly, Roma are terrible travellers and despite their league position, Genoa have only lost twice in 8 games (W0 D6 L2). Yes they will be missing Destro, Caicedo and Criscito but I feel the new manager bounce factor plus the call from the club to pack the Marassi might just get them over the line and send us all into Shevanth heaven.

SRD Selections

Lazio v Juventus: Juventus Win @ 11/8

Fiorentina v Ac Milan: Milan Win @ 5/4

Genoa v Roma: Genoa Win @ 4/1