Serie A Tips: A Spezial Day In Verona
Feeling a little hard done by after Juve failed to get over the line last Sunday, Enzo is back with his Serie A predictions and tips for this weekend
Hellas Verona v Spezia Sat 1 May 14:00 BST
My first Serie A tip of the week is based more on a hunch rather than the stats. Spezia have one of the worst away records in the league and have only managed 3 points from a possible 24 in their last 8 fixtures. Their recent home form (W4 D3 L1) is strong and it’s difficult to understand the discrepancy especially in a year where home advantage has been somewhat nullified by the absence of fans.
Verona have really tailed off lately and the squad look like they are already thinking about the summer holidays. Their recent record reads W1 D0 L7 which represents a massive dip in form compared to earlier in the year.
In spite of their dismal away record, Spezia win @ 5/2 is what I will be backing here. Looking at the numbers you might think I’m delusional but for me the crucial factor is motivation. Hellas have nothing left to play for. They currently sit in 10th, safe from the threat of relegation but with Europe being just out of reach. Spezia on the other hand are only 2 points from safety. For them the season is far from over and with a tricky final run of fixtures the Ligurians will view this game as one of the better opportunities to get crucial points on the board.
Napoli v Cagliari Sun 2 May 14:00 BST
This fixture is an important one for both sides but for very different reasons. Napoli need points to stay in the automatic Champions League positions where only goal difference separates them from Juventus in 4th and Milan in 5th. Cagliari sit in 17th with goal difference again being the margin of separation between them and the relegation zone.
62% of Napoli’s home games have seen 3+ total goals but only 50% of their last 8 have exceeded the 2.5 mark. Cagliari’s matches have an average of 2.88 goals per game but there is a big difference between the home and away stats. Only 38% of Gli Isolani’s matches away from the Sadengna Arena have gone over 2.5 and this includes 1-0 loses to Inter and Lazio and a 2- 0 defeat to Juventus.
A run of three straight wins has lifted Cagliari out of danger for the moment but I don’t think they will view this as a winnable fixture. Instead they will try to keep things tight, as we have seen they can, and play for a point. Under 2.5 match goals @ 11/8 is a decent price and one that I am happy to take.
Torino v Parma Mon 3 May 19.45 BST
Last Saturday’s 4-3 defeat to Crotone was good for me but dashed any hopes Parma had of featuring in Serie A next year. Despite a resurgence in the latter stages of the season, the squad’s attacking talent has been let-down by defensive frailties and lapses in concentration. Realistically any team that has conceded 70 goals and counting cannot expect to remain in the top flight.
For Torino it’s still all to play for. They are level on 31 points with 17th place Cagliari and 18th place Benevento – but do have a game in hand. La Granata have had a tough run of home fixtures recently which saw them play Juve, Inter, Napoli and Roma. Taking this into account, a record of (W2 D1 L2) is not too bad. Of those five matches both teams scored in four.
Parma are winless in 6 (W0 D1 L5) but BTTS has been a winning bet in 9 of their last 10. I expect the trend of them getting on the scoresheet but leaving empty handed to continue here so BTTS and Torino win @ 2/1 is the standout bet.
Additionally, picking a goalscorer is always worthwhile against a team like Parma who concede so many. The obvious choice here is “il Gallo” Bellotti but “the cock” to stick one in anytime is a measly 4/6 which is just not meaty enough to satisfy me. Instead I’m going with Paraguayan striker Antonio Sanabria. For a man who has scored 5 in his last 9 appearances, 6/5 for Sanabria to score anytime is decent value and is my final Serie A tip of the week.
Hellas Verona v Spezia: Spezia Win @ 5/2
Napoli v Cagliari: Under 2.5 Match Goals @ 11/8
Torino v Parma: BTTS and Torino win @ 2/1
Torino v Parma: Sanabria Anytime Goalscorer @ 6/5