FIVE Serie A bets from our man in Rome Marco Di Cosmo (@scioltz). Tuck in!
Carpi v Frosinone | Sunday 14:00
This is pretty much a relegation battle between the two sides who came up really surprisingly from Serie B last season.
We were really unlucky last weekend when betting against Carpi, as they did not create a single chance against Bologna but somehow managed to get a point after their opponents failed on so many occasions to notch.
Their ultra defensive approach is something I do not understand easily; this team have the lowest record of goals scored in the league having failed to net in 10 of their 28 games so far in the season and their approach with the bigger teams is just ‘defend, defend and more defend’. Surely Carpi will try a different technique here as they have the chance to take three points off a relegation rival.
Frosinone are clearly the worst travellers in the league, but have recently improved when on the road. They won in Empoli, drew in Sassuolo and put in decent performances when losing against Roma and Sampdoria.
I was tempted to back Frosinone on the Double Chance but I prefer betting on cards in this match. Luca Banti, a man who likes cards, will direct a match that almost surely will be a fight from the first minute. When these teams met months ago there were two players sent off with nine cards brandished.
Fiorentina v Verona | Sunday 14:00
Verona have virtually no hope of avoiding relegation after losing to Udinese and Sampdoria in recent weeks . This team had a really good run up since then but could not turn their momentum into something durable and they are now inevitably placed in the final position of the table.
Playing at the Artemio Franchi against Fiorentina is another huge task where they have zero chance of coming back with a victory. Despite that I see them playing frenetically as not even a draw is good enough for them.
Fiorentina are tremendous when playing in their ground and despite their recent form not being up to the standard of the early season they are still scoring two goals per game.
This is encouraging when playing against a team like Verona who have many problems in their defensive line. Four of Verona's last five games finished Over 2.5 Goals and we were right to be with overs even against Sampdoria last week. That is why I see a home victory with goals.
Udinese v Roma | Sunday 14:00 | BT Sport 1
The other match between Champions League contenders and a relegation threatened team is between Udinese and Roma where the hosts have significantly seen a drop in their form. They began the season with a victory in Turin over Juventus, and now find themselves only four points ahead of Frosinone.
Despite President Pozzo building an entire new stadium for them, Udinese have an horrific home record with just four wins in the season, 6 losses and disastrous performances against big teams like Inter and Juve where they’ve been trashed away 4-0.
This is difficult to understand compared to their record in previous seasons when they were a team hard to beat on their soil and their difficulties are not showing any sign of improvement having just been defeated by Frosinone 2-0.
Roma are the in-form team of the moment. The giallorossi come here on the back of seven consecutive wins and have no significant absentees in their squad.
I reckon they will have no problems beating Udinese. Also their performance against Real Madrid was greater then their 2-0 loss suggests, having squandered huge chances throughout the match. Backing Roma at almost evens is such a gift for this Serie A day.
Lazio v Atalanta | Sunday 19:45
We could see a surprise here. Last time Atalanta came to Rome they beat AS Roma 2-0. That was their last victory though having incredibly dropped their standards with awful performances and too many draws.
I do not think they are in danger of relegation but surely they will need to pick up points to be safe without many worries. Their chance of getting something from this match are worth considering as Lazio have just played a Europe League match on Thursday,
With the second leg on Thursday I expect them to rotate a lot, starting some new inexperienced players and resting some key men such as Lucas Biglia and Antonio Candreva.
Plus, Atalanta’s coach is Edy Reja, who’s been one of the most successful men in Lazio’s recent history and a man who knows how to defend and how to take on teams bigger than his sides. Backing Atalanta to avoid defeat, maybe in a nervous and ugly draw, could be the key here.
Palermo v Napoli | Sunday 19:45 | BT Sport Europe
Napoli are keen to respond to Juventus' win against Sassuolo with a performance against Palermom and I am confident the partenopei will have no difficultly doing that.
Palermo are having one of the most turbulent seasons in their history having changed manager nine times (9!) and that surely has been a key factor in their toils.
President Maurizio Zamparini have always been known for his peculiar personality and his instinctive temperament, but this season he’s going further and no one seems to understand what the final plan of this team will be.
Napoli have had a recent low from their usual beautiful standards but they are getting back on track and what a better chance than facing a team in crisis like Palermo.
La Favorita is not a difficult place as it was some years ago, as Palermo fans have seen their club lose seven times in 14 occasions with only Carpi and Verona doing worse. Milan, Fiorentina, Juve and Roma among others had little problems to win here and I am confident that Napoli will do the same.
Carpi v Frosinone – Over 6.5 Cards (11/12 888 Sport)
Fiorentina v Verona – Fiorentina to win and Over 2.5 Goals (10/11 Paddy Power)
Udinese v Roma – Roma to win (20/23 Coral)
Lazio v Atalanta – Atalanta Double Chance (6/5 Coral)
Palermo v Napoli – Napoli -1.5 (13/14 888 Sport)