SERIE A is back for it’s annual Epiphany special and our man in Rome, Marco Di Cosmo (@Scioltz), talks us through his best bets.
Lazio v Carpi | Wednesday 14.00
Carpi have the second worst defence in Serie A with 33 goals conceded in just 17 games. Despite those stats, their approach was also very remissive against the bigger sides, enjoying their best result in a 0-0 draw against Napoli.
Carpi will travel to Rome on Wednesday where they will meet a Lazio side that is far from the splendour of last season. The Biancocelesti had a terrible run of matches without a win before a surprising away victory at San Siro against a top of the table Inter.
The Romans deserved the three points that day but despite those signs of improvements, it’s worth noting they’ve leaked at least once in each of their last nine outings.
With that in mind, Lazio could easily concede again this midweek whilst also proving too strong for their guests. Backing Over 2.5 Goals at evens with BetVictor could prove more profitable than taking just a plain home win.
AC Milan v Bologna | Wednesday 14.00
We go with goals again at San Siro, where Milan host Bologna desperately trying to close the gap on fifth. The Rossoneri need a win here and they will try to push for the three points after an entertaining display when beating Frosinone 4-2 away.
Meanwhile, Bologna have scored 14 goals in seven games under Roberto Donadoni – they’d managed just five in 10 fixtures before the ex-Azzurri coach took charge. That indicates why bookmakers don’t believe in goals when Bologna are playing, but the trend has changed, as shown by numbers.
This Bologna team were scored three goals against Napoli and twice against Roma and they don’t sit back, preferring to take an aggressive approach.
Milan won’t have their best defender available in Alessio Romagnoli and their usually leaky defence could have further problems when both Philippe Mexes and Alex pair up at centre-half. I’ll take Over 2.5 Goals again at 11/10 with Paddy Power.
Sassuolo v Frosinone | Wednesday 14.00
We often admire the story of Frosinone – arguably the worst side in the league on paper but the team have been superb in home matches, until a couple of weeks ago.
All their problems have been exposed in recent matches and their main issue is without doubt their defensive solidity. They tend to play with an offensive mind-set and in the first half of Serie A this season they’ve faced the highest number of goals and have conceded 16 goals in their last five games – more than three goals-per-game.
While Frosinone’s home form has encouraged at times, their away record is appalling – just one point from a possible 24, three goals scored and 19 leaked. That makes me think Sassuolo won’t have too many problems registering a victory but I found more value in getting the home team onside to net at least twice.
We can back Sass to score Over 1.5 Goals at 4/6 with Bet365. This bet would have paid out in the last seven Frosinone games, including the match they won 3-2 against Verona, and I’m confident that Sassuolo will beat them.
Napoli v Torino | Wednesday 19.45 | BT Sport Europe
The final fixture on Wednesday features Napoli as they bid to reclaim top spot in the table, should Inter fail to record three points at Empoli earlier in the afternoon.
Mauricio Sarri’s hosts are mixing a superb season for Gonzalo Higuain with a newfound stability in defence that wasn’t seen under Rafa Benitez. The Partenopei have recorded the second best defence with just 13 goals conceded in 17 games and their also topping the clean sheet table alongside Inter.
Bar the low of leaking three goals to Bologna, Napoli’s backline has held firm and I’m confident they can continue to do so here. Napoli survived a tough away match in Bergamo against Atalanta where they grabbed a vital 3-1 win in their last outing, getting back on track after a 0-0 draw with Roma in Naples.
Torino do not have a tremendous record playing away, notching just seven goals in seven games and I can’t see the guests taking an offensive approach here.
If we take away the first part of the season where Sarri was still experimenting with his new team, Napoli have only conceded a home goal against Fiorentina, Juventus and Inter, registering the best defensive home record in Serie A.
So I’ll happily oppose Both Teams To Score at 10/11 with Paddy Power.
Lazio v Chievo – Over 2.5 Goals (1/1 BetVictor)
AC Milan v Bologna – Over 2.5 Goals (11/10 Paddy Power)
Sassuolo v Frosinone – Sassuolo to score Over 1.5 Goals (4/6 Bet365)
Napoli v Torino – Both Teams To Score ‘No’ (10/11 Paddy Power)
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