OUR man in Rome Marco Di Cosmo (@scioltz) is back with two Monday night bets for us.
Lazio v Sassuolo | Monday 18:00 | BT Sport Europe
Lazio have been the best Italian club on their own ground this season. They began this season with eight wins from their first eight home matches but since their November loss to AC Milan they haven’t looked as solid.
Results have dipped on home turf and while losing to Juventus and Napoli is acceptable, home draws against Palermo, Sampdoria and Carpi are not good.
To be fair though three of their last four home performances have been outstanding. They saw off Galatasaray in the Europa League and recorded big wins over Hellas and Chievo Verona.
The nature of their main problems this season have been bad coaching to me. While coach Stefano Pioli was key to their success last season he’s struggled in his second year and has only recently started selecting his best players like Felipe Anderson, Antonio Candreva and Keita Balde again.
Before that he seemed intent on standing by Stefano Mauri, Filip Djordevic and Miroslav Klose, a trio that were at their best many seasons ago.
Sassuolo are a difficult team to play against. Their Serie A record is admirable, and despite starting as a small team they are safe and solid and sitting in the Top 10.
I think their lack of motivation is the key to the remainder of their season though. Lazio have much more to prove than Sassuolo and the fact that Mr Pioli is willing to play with his best talents, and not go conservative as happened in previous displays, makes me want to back Lazio here at interesting odds.
Fiorentina v Napoli | Monday 20:00 | BT Sport Europe
This is a big big match on Monday night. I’ve no doubt this will be far more intriguing and exciting than Juventus v Inter was on Sunday. These two sides might not have the best talents, but they clearly play the best football in Italy, even more so than the old fashioned Juventus, whose record and superiority is indisputable but they rely much more on defensive solidity.
Coaches Paulo Sousa and Maurizio Sarri deserve a lot of credit for how they prepare their sides and their work is truly admirable. They both had bad days in Europe last week though; Fiorentina getting knocked out by Tottenham and Napoli going out unluckily to Villarreal.
Napoli’s recent form is really not encouraging but they will need to win this contest if they want to maintain hope of staying with Juve in the Serie A title race.
A draw would not be enough and I am sure they will start this match very keen to take all three points. This should lead to an open match and goals should be an absolute banker.
On top of this this match involves the second best attack in the league against the fourth Fiorentina. The latter have scored in all of their home matches this season.
Lazio v Sassulo – Lazio to win (10/13 888 Sport)
Fiorentina v Napoli – Both Teams To Score (5/6 Betfair Sportsbook)
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