OUR man in Rome, Marco Di Cosmo (@scioltz) is back with four Serie A Easter picks.
Roma v Napoli | Saturday 11:30 | ESPN
Roma are winless since November at the Olimpico and I’m not expecting things to change on Saturday morning. The giallorossi will be missing their most influential and experienced players in Francesco Totti, Seydou Keita and Gervinho, and they’ll also be without long term absentees Leandro Castan and Kevin Strootman.
Nobody seems to understand what’s happened at the club. The team that thrashed CSKA away 5-0 in the Champions League and went toe to toe with Juventus for the first half of the season have just fallen apart. Losing 3-0 to Fiorentina recently in the Europa League was as bad as it gets.
Napoli aren’t having the season of their life in Serie A this year either. I always felt the lack of continuity in the team might cost them and they clearly don’t dominate smaller teams like they should do.
On the other hand, they love big matches. Their attacking play is always admirable, and their forwards are good enough to win matches on their own the last time these sides clashed earlier in the season. That 2-0 win in November was probably the best Napoli have played all year.
The odds on Napoli on Saturday are simply too attractive to be ignored when you factor in Roma’s poor form at the moment and I’m siding with the partenopei in the morning.
Cagliari v Lazio | Saturday 14:00
This match should be a cracker in terms of quality, pace and fun. Cagliari have not improved much since Zdenek Zeman returned but he always assures an offensive style for his teams.
Stefano Pioli is another coach I admire because of his high pressing and offensive football. That approach is paying dividends for Lazio so far. The quality of Felipe Anderson, whom I never tire of praising as the best talent in the league, is helping him to get Lazio within a UCL spot.
I expect Lazio to win there, but I think Cagliari can definitely score. That’s why I’ll back goals rather than a simple away win.
Palermo v Milan | Saturday 14:00
Palermo have a tremendous record at home this season. Yes I backed them to avoid defeat against Juventus recently to my cost, but bear in mind Juventus went on to thrash Borussia Dortmund just days after that game, so there was no was no shame for the Sicilians there.
On Saturday they host a troubled AC Milan side and I expect Paulo Dybala and Franco Vazquez to tear apart their defence. It’s incredible to see such generous odds for a home win and I’m all over it. Just to be safe, I’ll put up Palermo DNB as the odds are still very favourable.
Fiorentina v Sampdoria | Saturday 17:30 | ESPN
I like Fiorentina when they’re in peak form. Vincenzo Montella’s side have successfully overcome key injuries to key players Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gomez, and they’re now in the Europa League Quarter Final and on the brink of the Coppa Italia final. They’ll be pretty much at full strength here and the Egyptian Mohamed Salah will look to continue his excellent form for La Viola.
Sampdoria themselves are in stunning form at the moment but I don’t see that continuing here. I’m expecting a strong Fiorentina performance with their best players available and rested after the international break.
Roma v Napoli – Napoli Double Chance (7/10 Bet365)
Cagliari v Lazio – Over 2.5 Goals (3/4 BetVictor)
Palermo v Milan – Palermo Draw No Bet (4/5 Betfair)
Fiorentina v Sampdoria – Fiorentina to win (3/4 Betfred)
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