Enzo’s Insights: Tough Tests For Both Roman Clubs
After the International break, Enzo returns with his best weekend Serie A bets and he is predicting a torrid time for both Lazio and Roma
Lazio v Inter Sat 16 Oct 17:00 BST
Inter have exceeded all my expectations so far this season. Even though Simone Inzaghi is a manager I rate very highly, I thought the combination of financial turmoil and an exodus of star players would mean a scramble for the final Champions League spot at best. But here we are with the Nerazzurri in 3rd, 4 points behind Napoli and unbeaten in the league.
For Lazio, Sarriball looked to have taken the Capital by storm until the eagles wings were clipped by some of Serie A’s sparrows. Last week’s 3-0 loss to Bologna was a particularly humbling defeat and one, of course, I definitely didn’t see coming. To be fair, that day, the Aquilotti were without Ciro Immobile who has been Lazio’s key man this season again. After ruling himself out of international duty, it is still 50/50 whether he will start against the Nerazzurri on Saturday.
On the face of it, Lazio’s home record is impressive. They are unbeaten in all competitions, but most of their wins have come against the championship’s bottom feeders and whatever dross the Europa League has thrown up. The recent results ( W1 D2 L1) are even more concerning when you consider both draws came against Toro and Cagliari, plus the loss was the aforementioned battering by Bologna. Because of this I’m going for an Inter win @ 5/4. For more adventurous punters I recommend adding goals into the mix. 5 of Lazio’s last 7 have gone over 2.5 as have all of Inter’s. Inter win + over 2.5 goals is available @ 21/10.
Juventus v Roma Sun 17 Oct 19:45 BST
Prior to the international break, Juventus were starting to look like the Old Lady we have grown used to. A 1-0 win over Chelsea in the Champions League followed by a derby day triumph extended their unbeaten run (W5 D1 L0) to six in all competitions. Defensive problems still persist but two clean sheets on the trot would suggest that Max Allegri is getting a handle on the situation. There was further good news for the Bianconeri during the week when it was announced that both Dybala and Morata would be available for selection. It is unlikely though that either will be named in the starting line-up.
Roma were left sweating when Tammy Abraham limped off after only 15 minutes into his cameo appearance for England on Tuesday. There were fears that the striker had suffered a fracture and/or ligament damage but tests have since confirmed that the ankle is just severely bruised. Whether he is fit to face Juve remains to be seen however. His absence would be a blow for Mourinho’s side who, after a strong start to the season, have faltered in recent weeks. Two consecutive away defeats to Verona and Lazio (technically away) have thrown cold water on the hopes of a special season for the special one.
Just two years ago, a home Juventus win priced @ 10/11 would have been almost unthinkable and shows just how poorly they started this campaign. Their recent performances imply that the storm might be weathered and a title challenge, albeit a tad late, is on the cards. Even if a scudetto push doesn’t materialise, I feel that they will do the business against a depleted and increasingly flaky Roma.
Venezia v Fiorentina Mon 18 Oct 19:45 BST
My final Serie A bet will be on overperforming Fiorentina’s star man to find the net. There has been a lot of speculation over Dusan Vlahovic’s future at the club but the striker has so far kept his head down and got on with the business of scoring goals. His league tally currently stands at 4 and he bagged a midweek brace against Azerbaijan, while on duty for Serbia. A price of 8/5 for Vlahovic to score anytime looks like value for a player in form facing a weak, leaky opposition.
Lazio v Inter: Inter @ 5/4
Juventus v Roma: Juventus @ 10/11
Venezia v Fiorentina: Dusan Vlahovic Anytime Scorer @ 8/5