OUR man in Italy, Marco Di Cosmo (@scioltz) has now bagged seven successive Serie A winners. Here’s his take on Thursday night’s action.
Fiorentina v Napoli | Thursday 19:45 | BT Sport 1
Most intriguing match of the day is in Florence where the home side will face Napoli, who are at the top of their form this season.
Maurizio Sarri’s visitors are playing brilliantly in recent times: we backed them to win with more than two goals and they delivered a stunning performance with a 5-3 against Torino.
Moreover, they were up 3-0 in half an hour showing an incredible capacity of finding the net and creating opportunities in front of goal.
Dries Mertens is in fine form, scoring seven goals in last two games and he will play as the main striker also in this match.
Things won’t be so easy as last week for Napoli in Florence, so I also expect the home side to register at least once. That is why I prefer not to side with any of the two team to win the match, and I prefer backing Over 2.5 Goals (18/25 Marathon).
Cagliari v Sassuolo | Thursday 19:45
Masters of Overs Cagliari will face Sassuolo in what should be a very open match.
I think the visitors have some chances here but it would be very tricky to have a bet on the outcome of a winner.
Cagliari have the second worst home defence in Serie A, so Sassuolo should have no problems scoring at the Sant’Elia.
At the same time, Sassuolo have an average of 2.00 goals suffered per-game when traveling so we should see goals at both ends, at least.
More than that, it is the mentality of the teams that keeps promising goals, as none of the two act like a defensive-minded side, so Over 2.5 Goals appeals at 9/10 (188BET).
Palermo v Pescara | Thursday 19:45
Palermo had an incredible comeback win in Genoa where they were trailing 3-1 with 20 minutes to go, and they were able to overturn their deficit getting an amazing 4-3 win in stoppage-time.
This could be game-changing for the hosts and will give the Sicilians an incredible boost, and further motivation in their relegation struggle.
Winning this match, Palermo would move four points clear of Pescara and I do not think they will let that chance go. The Sicilians used to rely much on their home form, with La Favorita being a hostile territory for every visitor.
This year instead they have the worst home record of the whole league, with eight losses in eight. I’m sure they make that nine here so I’ll be brave by backing the home side to register a win (23/20 William Hill).
Roma v Chievo | Thursday 19:45 | BT Sport
Once again, Roma have failed in their meeting at Juventus, being beaten for the seventh consecutive time.
I won’t blame the Giallorossi too much, as they’ve managed to keep the match alive for the whole 90 minutes. Juventus did not create much, if not on the counter, and Roma had some clear chances miserably failed.
This match cost the Giallorossi a bigger distance from the top, but moreover that match was costly in terms of injuries as both Kostas Manolas and Radja Nainggolan are out here.
For this reason I will give Chievo some chance to have their say at the Stadio Olimpico, but I would prefer the possibility of the Flying Donkeys scoring than coming away with any points.
When playing at home, Roma have conceded in eight out of 13 games, also to smaller teams such as Pescara and Plzen and I’m confident that the same could happen on Thursday – Both Teams To Score is 1/1 (Matchbook).
Torino v Genoa | Thursday 19:45
I’ll go with goals again here and Over 2.5 Goals at 8/11 (188BET), with Torino being one my favourites in terms of attacking teams.
The Granata are a goalscoring machine, and moreover they do not mind to concede at the defensive end. With 35 goals scored they have the fourth-best record for goals scored, while not keeping a good defensive record for a team who’s aiming for a top position.
Genoa under coach Ivan Juric are an interesting animal: they were able to beat Juventus at home, but also failed to overcome Palermo when leading 3-1.
I expect this team to show their abilities in an entertaining match where both teams should easily find the net.
Fiorentina v Napoli – Over 2.5 Goals (18/25 Marathon)
Cagliari v Sassuolo – Over 2.5 Goals (9/10 188BET)
Palermo v Pescara – Palermo to win (23/20 William Hill)
Roma v Chievo – Both Teams To Score (1/1 Matchbook)
Torino v Genoa – Over 2.5 Goals (8/11 188BET)
World Cup 2018: The Ultimate Betting Guide
Our 130-page spectacular, World Cup 2018: The Ultimate Betting Guide, is available to buy NOW!
The interactive magazine includes previews, videos, stats and tips for all 32 teams, features on Outright Winners, Top Goalscorer, Refs & Cards, Dark Horses, Flops, Knock-out Betting and much more.
22 football experts contribute to our Ask the Experts feature and there’s over 5 hours of exclusive audio with 5 of the planet’s most respected reporters who discuss the chances of each nation with our very own Mark O’Haire.
And if that wasn’t enough there’s a free bet up for grabs with our partners Ladbrokes.